VoterVocab: What You Need to Know to Rock the Vote

I will be one of the first to admit I have no idea what is going on in the Presidential Elections. I remember sitting in my seventh grade classroom as my history teacher Mrs. Mahoney briefly covered the basics of voter registration when President Obama was first running in the race.

My headache was so bad I can feel it even now. I swear, some of the words they have created for the election are done intentionally to keep people like me from voting. I mean the bigger the words the more likely they know what they’re doing right? Why would the government need someone like little ole’ me to vote?

Well, without voters like me and you, the election is being voted on by big companies with political agendas that are not the best for our country. I mean when we see numbers like Hillary Clinton with 394 delegates versus Bernie Sanders with only 44 delegates it looks like Clinton is going to end up being the representative for the democratic party so why bother? But these numbers are far from the truth.

Let’s break down some of these terms and find out why, shall we?

Presidential Caucus

What exactly is a “caucus”? A caucus is a local meeting where “voting is often done by raising hands or breaking into groups according to the candidate participants support at a caucus meeting” according to This allows voters to openly show support for the candidates. When you look at the stats from the Iowa caucus, it is divided into counties where each individual voted for their preferred candidate. This is the oldest method of choosing delegates and only a handful of states, Iowa, Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Wyoming, Kanas, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, Hawaii, Arizona, Utah, Maryland, and North Dakota hold caucuses. A big heads up though, Iowa is apparently the most significant state to hold a caucus and according to the winners of Iowa were Democrat Hillary Clinton (49.9%) and Republican Ted Cruz (27.6%).

Presidential Primary

Presidential primaries are held at state-level with secret ballots says There are four types of primaries: closed primary, semi-closed primary, semi-open primary, and open primary. These different options range from only allowing registered party members to vote (closed primary) to allowing any registered voter to participate (open primary). Thirty-five states hold primaries during the presidential campaign. The winners of the New Hampshire Primaries were Democrat Bernie Sanders (60.4%) and Republican Donald Trump (35.3%) says Politico.


Superdelegates play a pretty big role in the game of number scare tactics. Currently superdelegates are the main reason why Hillary Clinton has 394 delegates versus Bernie Sanders with 44. Superdelegates are actually a part of the Democratic party. They are “a party leader or elected public official chosen as an uncommitted delegate to a national political convention” says To break it down, these are democratic governors, the President and Vice President, members in Congress, all members of the National Federation of Democratic Women, and the College Democrats of America as Jeff Stein a journalist at Vox writes in his break down of superdelegates and the effect on the democratic campaigns.

In total, this adds up to about 712 people. Yet it is not so daunting when compared to the 4,051 delegates that voters have a say in handing out. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the “superdelegates” have only pledged to a certain candidate and have the ability to change their minds, and they might in order to vote with the preferences of voters, but they also might not.

People can be very tricky when it comes to politics, and if the race becomes close or, as Stein said, “…essentially a tie, it’s certainly possible that superdelegates could tip the balance to Clinton rather than Sanders.”

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