1. A single decision or set of associated decisions being put before the voters (for example, the option of candidates to fill a particular public office or the approval or disapproval of a constitutional amendment). This term encompasses other terms such as “race,” “question,” and “issue” that are sometimes used to refer to specific kinds of contests. It does not refer to the legal challenge of an election outcome.

Source: Election Terminology Glossary - Draft, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),

2. Decision to be made within an election, which may be a contest for office or a referendum, proposition and/or question. A single ballot may contain one or more contests.

Source: Glossary of terms database, U.S. Election Assistance Commission,