Minnesota Secretary Of State - Elections Dictionary: Words and Phrases You Should Know
Skip to main content

Elections Dictionary: Words and Phrases You Should Know

ELECTIONS Dictionary: Words and phrases You Should Know

Want to suggest words or phrases to add to this list?  Email us!


The form used to vote.  

A ballot lists the offices (jobs) that are open, any people running for that office (who wants you to choose them to do the job), and sometimes questions (when we vote on an idea, like everyone will pay a fee for 20 years so the town can build a pool at the high school).


The person who wants your vote.

In elections, people called candidates compete for votes.  The candidate with the most votes wins, getting the job they are interested in.  Some offices (jobs) have requirements on the candidates.  For instance, anyone who is a candidate for President of the United States must be at least 35 years old, born a citizen, and have lived in the country for at least 14 years.


To sign up.

Registering to vote in Minnesota means proving two things, who you are and where you live.  You are asked a few questions when you register, all about being allowed to vote.  (One example is if you are a citizen, which is required to vote.)

Run for Office

To be a candidate; to try to get a job through an election.

Running for office can be a long and complicated process, but there are only a few things that are required.  A person running for office (candidate) must file (fill out a form saying they want to run for the office) and follow rules about raising and spending money.  The candidate can be nominated (supported) by a political party or ask a large group of people to sign a nominating petition.

Cast a Ballot






(Political Party)