Common Terms

Absentee Ballot: a ballot marked and mailed in advance by a voter away from the place where he or she is registered

Alderman: A member of the municipal legislative body in a town or city in many jurisdictions

Ballot: 1. a sheet of paper or a card used to cast or register a vote, especially a secret one 2. the act, process, or method of voting, especially in secret 3. a list of candidates running for office; a ticket 4. the total of all votes cast in an election 5. the right to vote; franchise

Bi-Partisan: Of, consisting of, or supported by members of two parties, especially two major political parties

Caucus: a meeting of the local members of a political party especially to select delegates to a convention or register preferences for candidates running for office

Democracy: Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives

Democrat: Of, relating to, characteristic of, or belonging toe the Democratic Party of the United States; member of the Democratic Party

Democratic Party: One of the two major political parties in the United States, owing its origin to a split in the Democratic-Republican Party under Andrew Jackson in 1828

District: a division of an area, as for administrative purposes

Early Voting: is a process by which voters in a public election can vote prior to the scheduled election day

Elect: to select by vote for an office

Election: the act or process of electing someone to fill an office or position

Election Day: a day set by law for the election of public officials

Electioneer: to work actively for a candidate or political party

Elector: a qualified voter in an election

Electoral College: a body of electors chosen to elect the president and vice president of the United States

Electorate: a body of qualified voters

Federal: Of, relating to, or being a form of government in which a union of states recognizes the sovereignty of a central authority while retaining certain residual powers of government

General Election: an election involving all or most constituencies of a state or nation in the choice of candidates

House (of Representatives): The lower house of the US Congress and most state legislators

Independent: One that is independent, especially a voter, officeholder, or political candidate who is not committed to a political party

Liberal: 1. favoring reform, open to new ideas, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; not bound by traditional thinking; broad-minded. 2. of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism

Libertarian: One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state

Municipal: Having local self-government

Non-Partisan: based on, influenced by, affiliated with, or supporting the interests or policies of no single political party

Precinct: an election district of a city or town

Primary Election: a preliminary election in which voters nominate party candidates for office

Provisional Ballot: A provisional ballot is used by voters whose qualifications to vote have been challenged, voters who can’t prove they are qualified to vote, and voters who requested absentee ballots but did not surrender them at the polls.

Recorder: a public officer in charge of the records of instruments required to be registered, such as deeds

Republican: Of, relating to, characteristic of, or belonging toe the Republican Party of the United States; a member of the Republican Party

Republican Party: one of the two primary political parties of the United States, organized in 1854 to oppose the extension of slavery

Representative: a member of a gobernmental body, usually legislative, chosen by popular vote 2. a member of the US House of Representative or of the lower house of the State legislature

Senate: the upper house of US Congress, to which tow members are elected from each state by popular vote for a six-year term 2. the upper house in the bicameral legislature of many states in the United States

Senator: a member of the senate

State House: a building in which a state legislature holds sessions; a state capitol

Term: a limited or established period of time that something i supposed to last, tenure in public office

Township: a subdivision of a county in most northeast and Midwest US states, having the status of a unit of local government with varying governmental powers 2. a public land surveying unit of 36 square miles

Trustee: a member of a board elected or appointed to direct the funds and policy of an institution

Vote: the act of voting, the number of votes cast in an election or to resolve an issue

Voter: one who votes, one who has the right to vote

Ward: a division of a city or town, especially an electoral district, for administrative and representative purposes

Scott County Auditor: 

“As Clerk to the Board of Supervisors, the Auditor’s office prepares and maintains all official records of meeting minutes, Board voting records, resolutions, contracts, and correspondence. The office publishes records and other legal notices.

The Auditor acts as County Commissioner of Elections and administers all federal, state, and local elections that take place within the County. Responsibilities include voter registrations, absentee voting, recruitment of precinct election officials, printing and counting ballots, receiving nomination papers, financial disclosure documents, and notifying voters of elections.”

Iowa Senate & House Districts in Scott County:

“The Iowa Senate consists of 50 members. Each Senator represents a separate geographic area of the state called a district. There are 50 Senate districts in Iowa. The Iowa House of Representatives consists of 100 members. As with the Senate, each Representative serves a separate district. There are 100 House districts in Iowa, two within each Senate district. Scott County is represented by all or some portions of four Senate districts and six House districts.” *


The American Heritage dictionary of the English language, 5th ed. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2016