POLYAS Election Glossary

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


A "cloture" is a rarely used procedure to end a filibuster in the US Senate. It's the only official parliamentary rule in the US Senate to end or limit a debate without rejecting the bill, amendment or motion under debate. The idea behind this is to get enough votes for a cloture in order to end stalling tactics by Senators. Since 1975, 60 votes are needed to invoke the Cloture Rule. If the Senate has enough votes for a cloture, 30 additional hours of debate are allowed until the debate is closed.

Cloture tends to have a positive effect on the eventual vote on the amendment or bill being debated. In recent history, the most well known use of the Cloture Rule was in 1964 when the Senate ended the stalling of the Civil Rights Act 1964 after 57 days of filibustering.  

See also: Presidential Election, Filibuster, US Senate

< Go back