Etymology
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theta (n.)
eighth letter of the Greek alphabet; in ancient Greece, from Hebrew teth; originally an aspirated -t- (see th). Written on ballots to indicate a vote for a sentence of "death" (thanatos), hence occasional allusive use for "death."
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ostracize (v.)

"exile by ostracism, banish by popular vote," also in a figurative sense, "to exclude from society or favor," 1640s, from Latinized form of Greek ostrakizein "to banish," literally "to banish by voting with potshards" (see ostracism). Related: Ostracization; ostracized; ostracizing.

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yea (adv.)
Old English gea (West Saxon), ge (Anglian) "so, yes," from Proto-Germanic *ja-, *jai-, a word of affirmation (source also of German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish ja), from PIE *yam-, from pronominal stem *i- (see yon). As a noun, "affirmation, affirmative vote," from early 13c.
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Xenia 
city in Ohio, from Greek xenia "hospitality, rights of a guest, friendly relation with strangers," literally "state of a guest," from xenos "guest" (from PIE root *ghos-ti- "stranger, guest, host"). Founded 1803 and named by vote of a town meeting, on suggestion of the Rev. Robert Armstrong to imply friendliness and hospitality.
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grandfather (n.)
early 15c., from grand- + father (n.), probably on analogy of French grand-père. Replaced grandsire and Old English ealdefæder. Grandfather clause originally (1899) referred to exemptions from post-Reconstruction voting restrictions (literacy, property tax) in the U.S. South for men whose forebears had had the right to vote before 1867 (thus allowing poor and illiterate whites to continue to vote). Grandfather clock is from 1894, originally grandfather's clock (1876), "a furniture dealer's name" [OED] from "My Grandfather's Clock," the 1876 song by Henry Clay Work that was enormously popular (and loathed) in late 1870s. It indicates that they were beginning to seem old-fashioned; they were previously known as tall case clocks or eight-day clocks.
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election (n.)

c. 1300, eleccioun, "act of choosing" someone to occupy a position, elevation to office" (whether by one person or a body of electors); also "the holding of a vote by a body of electors by established procedure; the time and place of such a vote," from Anglo-French eleccioun, Old French elecion "choice, election, selection" (12c.), from Latin electionem (nominative electio) "a choice, selection," noun of action from past-participle stem of eligere "pick out, select," from ex "out" (see ex-) + -ligere, combining form of legere "to choose," from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather."

In Middle English also "act of choosing" generally, "choice, free choice" (c. 1400). The theological sense of "God's choice of someone" for eternal life is from late 14c. Meaning "act of choosing, choice" is from c. 1400.

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plebiscite (n.)

"direct vote of the people, an expression of the will or pleasure of the whole people in regard to some matter already decided upon," 1852 (originally in English in reference to France), from French plébiscite (1776 in modern sense, originally with reference to Switzerland), from Latin plebiscitum "a decree or resolution of the people," from plebs (genitive plebis) "the common people" (see plebeian (adj.)) + scitum "decree," noun use of neuter past participle of sciscere "to assent, vote for, approve," inchoative of scire "to know" (see science). Used earlier (1530s) in a purely historical context, "law enacted in ancient Rome by the lower rank of citizens, meeting in assembly under the presidency of a plebeian magistrate." The word was attested earlier in a purely classical context. Related: Plebiscitary.

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NASCAR 

acronym for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, U.S. auto racing promotion group founded 1948 in Daytona Beach, Florida. NASCAR dad in U.S. political parlance, "small-town, often Southern white man who abandons traditional Democratic leanings to vote Republican at least once every four years" was coined 2003 by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake.

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previous (adj.)

"going before in time, being or occurring before something else," 1620s, from Latin praevius "going before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + via "road" (see via). Related: Previously.

In parliamentary practice, previous question is the question whether a vote shall be taken on the main issue or not, brought forward before the main question is put by the Speaker.

The great remedy against prolix or obstructive debate is the so called previous question, which is moved in the form, "Shall the main question be now put?" and when ordered closes forthwith all debate, and brings the House to a direct vote on that main question. ... Closure by previous question, first established in 1811, is in daily use, and is considered so essential to the progress of business that I never found any member or official willing to dispense with it. Even the senators, who object to its introduction into their own much smaller chamber, agree that it must exist in a large body like the House. [James Bryce, "The American Commonwealth," vol. I., 1893]
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acclamation (n.)

1540s, "act of shouting or applauding in approval," from Latin acclamationem (nominative acclamatio) "a calling, exclamation, shout of approval," noun of action from past-participle stem of acclamare "to call to, cry out at, shout approval or disapproval of," from assimilated form of ad "to, toward" (see ad-) + clamare "cry out," from PIE root *kele- (2) "to shout." As a method of spontaneous approval of resolutions, etc., by unanimous voice vote, by 1801, probably from the French Revolution.

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