Election Naming Conventions

Statewide Elections

Every registered voter in the state can vote in the election. Examples include elections for president, governor, state executive offices, state legislature, and/or every county government. This does not include an election where every municipality has an election, because voters in unincorporated areas cannot vote. If the election includes president, the name will include "presidential" in the title.

Naming Convention:
[State] [Primary/General/Runoff] Election

  • Illinois Primary Election
  • South Carolina Presidential Primary Election
  • Kansas General Election
  • Alabama Primary Runoff Election

Consolidated Elections

Multiple government entities within a state are holding an election on the same date. This can range from every municipality or school board in the state to just a handful of municipalities or school boards. The key here is that not every person in the state is eligible to vote, and the voting is also not limited to one single entity.

Where possible, the name should include what types of positions are included (e.g., Municipal, School Board, etc.). If there are several different types, such as municipal, township, and school boards in one election, you can leave the position types out. Primary/General/Runoff can be included, but it is also optional where there is a mix of primary and general races.

Naming Convention:
[State] Consolidated [Type] Election

  • Tennessee Consolidated Municipal Primary Election
  • Arkansas Consolidated School Board General Election
  • North Carolina Consolidated Municipal Election
  • Illinois Consolidated Primary Election

Single Entity Elections

Only one entity within a state is holding an election on a given date. This often occurs when a single municipality with home rule is having an election. Special elections for a single congressional or state legislative seat also fit this bucket.

In this case, the entity itself should be included in the election name, rather than the state, because the state is not actually holding the election. Primary/General/Runoff should be included where applicable.

Naming Convention:
[Entity] [Primary/General/Runoff] Election

  • Omaha Municipal Primary Election
  • Houston General Runoff Election
  • Maryland MD-7 Congressional Special Election
  • Pine Bluff School Board General Election

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