A (77) | B (72) | C (171) | D (54) | E (99) | F (47) | G (15) | H (23) | I (15) | J (5) | K (1) | L (18) | M (54) | N (39) | O (40) | P (173) | Q (18) | R (132) | S (185) | T (69) | U (29) | V (152) | W (29) | X (6) | Y (1) | Z (4)
Glossary Term Definition
Machine-Readable Mark

Mark in a contest selection position of a paper ballot that meets requirements for detection by a scanner.

Machine-Unreadable Mark

Mark in a contest selection position of a paper ballot that cannot be detected as readable or marginal by a scanner and requires human adjudication.

magisterial disctrict

One of a fixed number of districts into which a state is divided, each district electing Magisterial candidates.

magisterial district judge

A civil officer or lay judge who administers the law, especially one who conducts a court that deals with minor offenses and holds preliminary hearings for more serious ones.

mail ballots (noun)

A ballot cast by a voter other than in-person at a voting location. Mailed ballots are typically mailed to voters but can be issued over the counter from an election's office. Depending on the jurisdiction, mailed ballots can be returned by mail, in a drop box, or in-person. Mailed ballots are synonymous with vote-by-mail and absentee ballots.

mail ballots (verb)

The process of mailing ballots to voters using the U.S. Postal Service.

mail-in voter registration form

A form used by a voter to request that a ballot be mailed to them.

Mailed Ballot Election

An election that is conducted entirely with the use of mailed ballots and either does not offer in-person voting options or has limited in-person voting options.

mailed ballot precinct

A voting precinct that does not offer in-person voting options.

mailing address

The address where a person can receive mail, which may be different than the address where a person lives.


More than half.

majority of the votes

More than half of the votes cast.

majority of voters

More than half of the voters.

majority party

A political party that receives a minimum percentage of the total vote in a jurisdiction or has sufficient strength to win control of a government or constitute the principal opposition to the winning party.

Majority Voting

A vote variation which requires the winning candidate to receive more than half of the votes cast. If no candidate wins an outright majority, a runoff election may be held between the top two vote-getters.

make void

An error, mistake, omission, or intentional act that results in a vote not counting towards the final election result.


Software or firmware intended to perform an unauthorized process that will have adverse impact on the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of a system. For example, a virus, worm, Trojan horse, or other code-based entity that infects a host. Spyware and some forms of adware are also examples of malware.


An official or authoritative command, usually by legislative statute or executive order.

manual tabulation of ballots

Counting ballot sheets and/or selections on ballot sheets by human examination.

Manually-Marked Paper Ballot

Paper ballot marked by a voter using a writing utensil. The paper ballot is the independent voter verifiable record.


Any symbol made by the signer that represents execution of a document or indicates a voting selection.

marked ballot

Ballot that contains voter’s selections.

marking device

A device that permits contest options to be selected and reviewed on an electronic interface and does not make any other lasting record of the voter's selections.

Marksense System by which votes are recorded by means of marks made in voting response fields designated on one or both faces of a ballot card or series of cards. Marksense systems may use an optical scanner or similar sensor to read the ballots. Also known as optical scan.
master voter registration list

A list of voters maintained in a single, uniform, official, computerized statewide or local registration database of registered voters.


A proposal to enact a new law or constitutional amendment that is placed on the ballot for approval or rejection by voters.

measure information

The portion of voting materials that contains information about a new law or constitutional amendment that is placed on the ballot for approval or rejection by voters.

measure register Record that reflects the total votes cast for and against a specific ballot issue. This record is augmented as each ballot is cast on a DRE or as digital signals from the conversion of voted paper ballots are logically interpreted and recorded
mechanical lever voting machine Machine that directly records a voter’s choices via mechanical lever-actuated controls into a counting mechanism that tallies the votes without using a physical ballot
memory card

An electronic data storage device used for storing digital information, typically using flash memory.

method of application Several methods of application are available to the public so they may register to vote.
midterm election

Elections that take place between presidential elections.

Military Voting

A member of the Uniformed Services in active service, including army, navy, air force, marine corps, coast guard, and merchant marine, and their spouses and dependents.

military voting assistance officer

Voting Assistance Officers (VAOs) work to ensure that military and overseas voters understand their voting rights, how to register to vote absentee, and have access to accurate nonpartisan voting information and assistance. VAOs may be members of the Uniformed Services, civilians, or members of overseas U.S. citizen organizations.

minimum standards

The lowest level of quality or achievement that is acceptable.

minimum voting age

The age established by law that a person must attain before they become eligible to vote in a public election.