General Information about the primaries

The primaries are elections between candidates of the same party to elect one candidate in the November general election. Candidates should register by a pre-determined deadline to appear on their state’s primaries ballot. The primaries aim to have two tickets – one for the Democratic candidate and another for the Republican candidate, but this is not always the case. The candidate with the most votes in each party proceeds to the second round of elections.

There are also two types of primaries –open and closed– although some states have a hybrid form of the two.

In a closed primary- voters can only vote for a candidate from within their party.

For example, in the Pennsylvania primaries, only registered Republicans can vote for their preferred Republican presidential candidate.

In an open primary, both parties can vote for candidates from either party, and the ticket is not divided by party. In other words, party affiliation is not required to vote. Georgia has an open primary.

At the end of the primary election, whichever candidate receives the most delegates is presumed to be their respective party’s presidential nominee until their political party formally nominates them.

Information about the general election

In the general elections, candidates square off against other parties instead of competing within their parties. In the general election, the highest elected office is the President elected indirectly by the Electoral College every four years. Although U.S State Senate and U.S Congressional Representative elections can fall on the same year as presidential elections, they occur every two years. The candidates are selected directly by the people.

Many state and local offices host their elections during presidential election years because of convenience and a way to save money, although a small amount of states host elections for state positions (ex: governor) during midterm elections. Georgia hosts their gubernatorial elections during the midterm years two years before and after presidential elections (i.e., 2010, 2014, etc.)