I have been thinking about the way that Congress works. I think that when Congress votes on things, it is an election but only a hundred or a few hundred people are invited to vote on it. Would Congress voting on a bill be considered an election?

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    all elections have voting, but not all voting is in an election. – dandavis Jul 21 at 20:23

No, because an election is, strictly considered, a vote for a person to fill an office. So when Congress has a vote for leadership, yes that's an election, but votes on bills, procedural matters etc. are not elections. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/election

It's worth noting that any questions of policy that are poised to the general electorate are also not elections. The most common term is referendum, although ballot initiative and proposition are also used.

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  • That makes sense. – Future Jul 21 at 17:37
  • I generally agree with the definition of "election", but not all votes for a person to fill an office are widely considered elections. Supreme court justices, for example, are nominated by the President, and then confirmed by Congress by a vote. Supreme court justices are generally considered to be non-elected officials, however, even though they must be voted in by Congress. I'm not sure where the dividing line between a "confirmation vote" and an "election" falls. Perhaps it comes down to whether the vote is Yea/Nay or among choices of individuals? – Nuclear Wang Jul 21 at 17:46
  • It's the choice of individuals that makes something an election. The key matter being that this is how the individual is selected. – Don Hosek Jul 21 at 17:52
  • Agreed, with rare exceptions. E.g. the U.S. House of Representatives elects the speaker of the house. – Burt_Harris Jul 22 at 21:44

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