[prahy-mer-ee, -muh-ree]
primary, in the United States, a preliminary election in which the candidate of a party is nominated directly by the voters. The establishment of the primary system resulted from the demand to eliminate the abuses of nomination by party conventions, which were often open to manipulation by party bosses. The primary was first used in local elections—as early as 1842 in Crawford co., Pa. The Wisconsin legislature established the first primary for the nomination of statewide candidates in 1903. In 1917 all but four states had enacted primary laws, which varied widely from state to state in scope and detail of administration. Many states extend the primary principle to the presidential level, providing for an election in which voters register their preference among presidential candidates and select state delegates to nominating conventions of the national parties. A primary may be nonpartisan, i.e., the candidates are not listed by party affiliation (usually in local and judicial elections); open, i.e., any registered voter may vote for a candidate for office from any party; or closed, i.e., only registered party members may vote for the party's slate of candidates. In a blanket primary the candidates of all the parties are listed on a single ballot; nonbinding primaries, sometimes called "beauty contests," do not require the party to adhere to the result of the primary in choosing its candidates. In states and localities where one party is dominant the primary, rather than the regular election, is crucial in the selection of officeholders. Critics of the primary system point to the great cost of primary campaigns and to the often unrepresentative nature of the comparatively few voters who thus select the party candidates.

Electoral device for choosing a party's candidates for public office. The formal primary system is peculiar to the U.S., where it came into widespread use in the early 20th century. Most U.S. states use it for elections to statewide offices and to the national presidency; in presidential elections, delegates are selected to attend a national convention, where they vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged. A closed-vote primary is restricted to party members; an open-vote primary is open to all voters in the district. Names can be placed on a ballot by an eligible citizen's declaration of candidacy, by nomination at a pre-primary convention, or by a petition signed by a required number of voters. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries political parties in some countries (e.g., the United Kingdom and Israel) adopted similar procedures for the election of the national party leader. Seealso electoral system; party system.

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or primary education

Traditionally, the first stage of formal education, beginning at age 5–7 and ending at age 11–13. Often preceded by some form of preschool, it usually includes middle school, or junior high school (ages 11–13), though this is sometimes regarded as part of secondary education. Nearly all nations are committed to some form of elementary education, though in many developing countries many children are unable to continue full-time studies past the age of 10 or 11. The elementary curriculum usually emphasizes reading and writing, arithmetic, social studies, and science. A basic teaching strategy involves moving the student from the immediate and familiar to the distant and unfamiliar, an approach first formulated by Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi.

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Disease in which gradual atrophy of the adrenal cortex causes the adrenal glands to produce insufficient quantities of the steroid hydrocortisone while causing the pituitary gland to produce excess quantities of pituitary hormones. Most of the cortex tissue is destroyed by the time symptoms (including weakness, abnormal coloration, weight loss, and hypotension) appear. Hydrocortisone-replacement therapy is often successful, usually given with other hormones to stabilize sodium levels. More than half of cases are believed to be due to an autoimmune reaction (see autoimmune disease); the remainder are caused by destruction of the adrenal gland by granuloma (e.g., tuberculosis).

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The word Primary when used alone may refer to:

United States presidential primary
Primary elections in Italy

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