Terms Glossary

Good Party's Terms Glossary is a list of definitions of words from the political and elections world. These terms are from an independent's perspective with an eye toward reform. If you have a suggestion for a new definition, send it to ask@goodparty.org.

Ballot Access

Ballot access is the process by which candidates and political parties gain the right to have their names appear on the ballot in an election. This is an important factor in the political process, as it determines which candidates and parties are able to compete in an election and have their views heard by the public.

Unfortunately, ballot access can be a major obstacle for independent and third party candidates, who often struggle to meet the requirements set by the two major parties. These requirements can include collecting a large number of petition signatures, paying high filing fees, and meeting other burdensome criteria.

This is especially true at the federal level, where the Democratic and Republican parties have a virtual monopoly on the electoral process. They use their control of the system to exclude competitors and maintain their dominance, which makes it difficult for independent and third party candidates to get their voices heard.

It's time for a change! We need a more open and inclusive electoral system that allows for a wider range of candidates and viewpoints. This means reforming the ballot access process to make it more accessible and fair for all candidates, regardless of their party affiliation. It's time to break free from the stranglehold of the two major parties and create a more vibrant and diverse democracy!

Ballot Fatigue

Ballot fatigue refers to the phenomenon where voters become overwhelmed and fatigued by the number of choices on the ballot, which in turn may lead to decreased voter turnout or a lower likelihood of casting a vote for certain candidates or measures. Ballot fatigue can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a large number of candidates running for office, a large number of measures on the ballot, or a lengthy ballot that takes a long time to complete.

Ballot fatigue can also be caused by the cognitive effort required to evaluate each candidate and measure. Research shows that when presented with too many options, individuals tend to experience decision paralysis and a decreased ability to evaluate each option effectively. This can lead to a higher likelihood of not voting or making a decision based on heuristics, such as a candidate's name recognition or party affiliation, rather than the candidate's qualifications or policy positions.

This phenomenon can also be exacerbated by a lack of information about the candidates and measures on the ballot. This can lead voters to feel overwhelmed by the number of choices and uncertain about how to make an informed decision.

Ballot fatigue can also be a problem in elections with many independent and third-party candidates. When there are many candidates running for a single office, it can be difficult for voters to differentiate between them and make an informed choice. This can lead to fewer votes for any one candidate, and potentially result in a candidate winning with a small percentage of the vote.

In conclusion, ballot fatigue refers to the phenomenon where voters become overwhelmed by the number of choices on the ballot, leading to decreased voter turnout or a lower likelihood of casting a vote for certain candidates or measures. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including a large number of candidates or measures on the ballot, the cognitive effort required to evaluate each option, and lack of information about the candidates and measures.

Board of Elections

A board of elections is a government body responsible for administering and overseeing the electoral process within a specific geographic area. This includes tasks such as registering voters, maintaining accurate voter rolls, preparing and distributing ballots, and counting votes. The board of elections is also responsible for enforcing election laws and regulations, and may investigate and resolve any election-related disputes or complaints.

The composition of a board of elections varies depending on the state or municipality. In some cases, the board is made up of appointed officials or members of a particular political party. In other cases, the board is composed of elected officials or a combination of appointed and elected members. The board typically has a small staff that assist in carrying out the day-to-day functions of the board.

The board of elections plays an important role in ensuring the integrity and fairness of the electoral process. They must ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to register and vote, and that all votes are counted accurately. They must also work to prevent voter fraud and ensure that the rules are followed by all parties involved.

One of the key responsibilities of the Board of Elections is to ensure that all candidates have equal access to the ballot. This includes verifying the qualifications of candidates, ensuring that the candidates have met the required deadlines and filing fees, and ensuring that the candidate's names are listed on the ballot in a fair and impartial manner.