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ⓘ Encyclopedia | Elections - Wiki ..



An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. It is usually used in Democratic nations. 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 representative democracies is in contrast with the practice in the democratic archetype, ancient Athens, where the Elections were not used 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 select or make a decision", and so sometimes other forms of ballot such as referendums are referred to as elections, especially in the United States.



An officer -elect refers to a person who has been elected to a position but has not yet been installed. For example, a president who has been elected but not yet installed would be referred to as a president-elect. Analogously, the term -designate e.g. prime minister-designate is used for the same purpose.


Absentee ballot

An absentee ballot is a vote cast by someone who is unable or unwilling to attend the official polling station to which the voter is normally allocated. Numerous methods have been devised to facilitate this. Increasing the ease of access to absentee ballots is seen by many as one way to improve voter turnout, though some countries require that a valid reason, such as infirmity or travel, be given before a voter can participate in an absentee ballot.



Abstention is a term in election procedure for when a participant in a vote either does not go to vote or, in parliamentary procedure, is present during the vote, but does not cast a ballot. Abstention must be contrasted with "blank vote", in which a voter casts a ballot willfully made invalid by marking it wrongly or by not marking anything at all. A "blank voter" has voted, although their vote may be considered a spoilt vote, depending on each legislation, while an abstaining voter hasnt voted. Both forms may or may not, depending on the circumstances, be considered to be a protest vote. An abstention may be used to indicate the voting individuals ambivalence about the measure, or mild disapproval that does not rise to the level of active opposition. Abstention can also be used when someone has a certain position about an issue, but since the popular sentiment supports the opposite, it might not be politically expedient to vote according to his or her conscience. A person may also abstain when they do not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand, or has not participated in relevant discussion. In parliamentary procedure, a member may be required to abstain in the case of a real or perceived conflict of interest. Abstentions do not count in tallying the vote negatively or positively; when members abstain, they are in effect attending only to contribute to a quorum. White votes, however, may be counted in the total of votes, depending on the legislation.



An acclamation, in its most common sense, is a form of election that does not use a ballot. "Acclamation" or "acclamatio" can also signify a kind of ritual greeting and expression of approval in certain social contexts as in ancient Rome.


Administrative resource

Administrative resource is the ability of political candidates to use their official positions or connections to government institutions to influence the outcome of elections. The term is widely used in Russia and other former USSR countries, because the practice is widespread, is well known and is openly discussed by public and media. In these countries, the administrative resource is one of the major factors in most elections. Although similar practices of corruption are conducted throughout the world in countries with fragile democracies, the term administrative resource is ascribed almost exclusively to Russia. Moreover, the utilization of administrative resources is generally not considered to be a democratic form of electioneering but in fact as a tool used to undermine democracy. The administrative resource is only one part that determines the election outcome. Two other major factors are the ideology candidates agenda and the use of political technologies. Among many different ways the administrative resource can be applied are: The laws can be selectively applied to assist friendly candidates, by hindering their competition. The authorities can use frequent tax inspections, police searches and arrests to punish businessmen who fund the competing candidates. The authorities can use the election laws to their advantage, for example, by creating a pretext for appealing the results later if the unfavourable candidate is winning. Another option is to stop from voting some groups of people who are likely to vote against the preferred candidate. Falsifying the election results. Additional ballots can be introduced under the names of those who didnt vote, ballots for "wrong" candidate can be invalidated by damaging them, ballots can be replaced. The authorities can also control the staff of the election committees and prevent control by independent observers. Mobilisation of organisational and financial resources. The authorities can easily pressure businessmen to fund preferred candidates and parties. Before Russian parliamentary elections the money is often used to create "authorities parties", based not on a particular ideology but on affiliation with the government and easy access to money. Government controlled organisations, such as the army, prisons, hospitals, public schools, etc. can be mobilised for signature collection and other goals. They can also pressure their employees and customers for voting for particular candidates and exercise control over votes by housing the polling stations. Controlling the mass media. The heads of states or regions can easily create news topics for media, getting free publicity and circumventing the limits for TV advertisements imposed on all candidates. This method was used with particular effectiveness in 2004 Russian presidential election. Redistribution of budget funds. The authorities can bribe the electorate indirectly by repaying pension debts, indexing salaries, etc. The federal government can control governors by measuring donations to their regions.