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|
Read more about Election: History
Famous quotes containing the word election:
“Well, I am chiefly interested in the renomination, so dont get disconsolate over that. If we lost the election I shall feel that the party is rejected, whereas if I fail to secure the renomination it will be a personal defeat.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)
“In every election in American history both parties have their clichés. The party that has the clichés that ring true wins.”
—Newt Gingrich (b. 1943)
“Now that the election is over, may not all, having a common interest, re-unite in a common effort, to save our common country?”
—Abraham Lincoln (18091865)