An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local government. This process is also used in many other private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary associations and corporations.

The universal use of elections as a tool for selecting representatives in modern democracies is in contrast with the practice in the democratic archetype, ancient Athens. As the Elections were considered an oligarchic institution and most political offices were filled using sortition, also known as allotment, by which officeholders were chosen by lot.

Electoral reform describes the process of introducing fair electoral systems where they are not in place, or improving the fairness or effectiveness of existing systems. Psephology is the study of results and other statistics relating to elections (especially with a view to predicting future results).

To elect means "to choose or make a decision" and so sometimes other forms of ballot such as referendums are referred to as elections, especially in the United States.

Part of the Politics series
  • Allotment (sortition)
  • By-election
  • Electoral fraud
  • Show election
  • Fixed-term election
  • General election
  • Midterm election
  • Primary election
    • Open vs. closed
    • Nonpartisan blanket
  • Two-round (runoff)
  • Direct vs. Indirect
  • Local election
  • Referendum
  • Recall election
  • Criticisms of electoralism
  • Anonymous elector
  • Apportionment
  • Boundary delimitation (redistricting)
  • Crossover voting
  • Gerrymandering
  • Election silence
  • Majority-minority districts
  • Nesting
  • Secret ballot
  • Suffrage
  • Political party
  • Voting
  • Voting systems
  • Elections by country
  • Most recent elections by country
  • Supranational electoral calendar
  • National electoral calendar
  • Local electoral calendar
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Read more about Election:  History

Other articles related to "election, elections":

Pope Urban V - Biography - Papacy - Election
... He was not even a bishop at the time of his election, and had to be consecrated as one before his coronation ...
Characteristics - Difficulties With Elections
... many countries with weak rule of law, the most common reason why elections do not meet international standards of being "free and fair" is interference from the incumbent government ... (police, martial law, censorship, physical implementation of the election mechanism, etc.) to remain in power despite popular opinion in favor of removal ... balance of power in the body from shifting to a rival faction due to an election ...
United States Presidential Election, 1904
... The United States presidential election of 1904 held on November 8, 1904, resulted in the election to a full term for President Theodore Roosevelt ... During the election campaign, Roosevelt called on the voters to support his "square deal" policies ... Roosevelt easily won the election, becoming the first person ever to assume the presidency upon the death of a president and later win election to a full term of their own ...
United States Presidential Election, 1920
... The United States presidential election of 1920 was dominated by the aftermath of World War I and a hostile response to certain policies of Democratic ... percentage margin in presidential elections after the so-called "Era of Good Feelings" ended with the unopposed election of James Monroe in 1820 ... This election was the first since the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment on August 18, 1920, and thus the first in which women had the right to vote in all 48 states (in the 1916 presidential election ...
Pope Eugene II - Election
... He was elected pope on 6 June 824 after the death of Paschal I ... The late pope had attempted to curb the rapidly increasing power of the Roman nobility, who had turned for support to the Franks to strengthen their positions against him ...

Famous quotes containing the word election:

    Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)

    Last evening attended Croghan Lodge International Order of Odd Fellows. Election of officers. Chosen Noble Grand. These social organizations have a number of good results. All who attend are educated in self-government. This in a marked way. They bind society together. The well-to-do and the poor should be brought together as much as possible. The separation into classes—castes—is our danger. It is the danger of all civilizations.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893)

    What a glorious time they must have in that wilderness, far from mankind and election day!
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)