POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy


By-elections are held to fill vacancies which arise before the end of the legislative term in the House of Representatives or Senate. By-elections can also be called special elections 

By-elections in the United States

By-elections take place in the U.S. when a single seat becomes vacant between general elections. Special elections can occur between the regular congressional election cycle. 

The vacancy may arise as a result of the death or resignation of a Congressman/woman or Senator. 

See also: Staff Council, Majority Vote, Legislative Term, Congress, Senate

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