Video:How Do Gubernatorial Elections Work?with Roger Weiss
Gubernatorial elections decide a state governor and function similarly to the presidential election. Watch this About.com video which explains the difference between primary and general gubernatorial elections.See Transcript
Transcript:How Do Gubernatorial Elections Work?
Hi, I’m Roger Weiss with About.com. Today we are going to be discussing how gubernatorial elections work.
Gubernatorial Elections Decide a State Governor
In a gubernatorial election, citizens are voting in a statewide election for the office of governor. These elections are designed very similar to presidential elections, with a two-tiered process involving a primary election and a general election.
Primary Gubernatorial Elections
A primary election places candidates of the same party against one another, with the winner obtaining that party’s nomination into the general election. In this stage of the election process, voters are limited to casting a ballot based on their declared party affiliation, which usually is recorded when registering to vote. The exact regulations as to who may vote for which party vary by state. They fall into four categories: open, closed, semi-open, or semi-closed.
In an open primary, any registered voter may cast a ballot for either party. A closed primary limits voting to only those voters registered with the political party. A semi-closed primary lets a voter with no registered political affiliation cast a vote after declaring their party choice to an elections official and obtaining the correct ballot. semi-open primaries allow voters with no registered political party affiliation to decide their party of choice privately inside the voting booth. No voter is allowed to cast a ballot for both political parties in a primary election.
General Gubernatorial Elections
Once the primary elections are decided, the winning candidates advance to the general election. Prior to the day of the election, these candidates will take part in campaigning, fundraising, and debates in order to win over voters. As a voter, it’s important to pay attention to the issues being discussed and note any major decisions to be determined by the elected governor that may have an impact well after they are out of office.
The general election is open to all voters regardless of their party affiliation. In some states, the governor and the lieutenant governor run on separate tickets, requiring votes to be cast individually. The winner then becomes the governor elect until sworn in as governor.
A governor’s term differs from state to state but lasts between 2 -4 years with the possibility of re-election, with state differences on consecutive term limits.
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