What is an election?
A: An election is a formal group decision-making process in most countries, by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold public office.
Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern
representative democracy has operated since when?
A: The 17th century.
Elections may fill offices in the legislature,
sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for what?
A: Regional and local government.
This process is also used in many other what?
A: Private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary associations and corporations.
Electoral reform describes what process?
A: 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 what?
A: Results and other statistics relating to elections (especially with a view to predicting future results).
To elect means what?
A: "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.
Elections were used as early in history as ancient
Greece and ancient Rome, and throughout the Medieval period to do what?
A: To select rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperor and the pope.
The first recorded popular elections of officials to
public office, by majority vote, where all citizens were eligible both to
vote and to hold public office, date back to what?
A: The Ephors of Sparta in 754 BC, under the mixed government of the Spartan Constitution.
Athenian democratic elections, where all citizens could
hold public office, were not introduced for another 247 years, until what?
A: The reforms of Cleisthenes.
Under the earlier Solonian Constitution (circa 574 BC),
all Athenian citizens were eligible to vote in the popular assemblies, on
matters of law and policy, and as jurors, but only the three highest classes
of citizens could vote in what?
A: In elections.
Nor were the lowest of the four classes of Athenian
citizens (as defined by the extent of their wealth and property, rather than
by birth) eligible to do what?
A: To hold public office, through the reforms of Solon.
Questions of suffrage, especially suffrage for minority
groups, have what?
A: Dominated the history of elections.
Males, the dominant cultural group in
North America and
Europe, often what?
A: Dominated the electorate and continue to do so in many countries.
Early elections in countries such as the United Kingdom
and the United States were dominated by what?
A: Landed or ruling class males.
By 1920 all Western European and North American
democracies had what?
A: Universal adult male suffrage (except Switzerland) and many countries began to consider women's suffrage.
Despite legally mandated universal suffrage for adult
males, political barriers were sometimes erected to do what?
A: To prevent fair access to elections.
Many corporations hold elections among shareholders to
A: A board of directors, and these elections may be mandated by corporate law.
In many places, an election to the government is
usually a competition among people who have already won what?
A: A primary election within a political party.
Elections within corporations and other organizations
often use procedures and rules that are similar to those of what?
A: Governmental elections.
The question of who may vote is what?
A: A central issue in elections.
The electorate does not generally include the entire
population; for example, many countries prohibit those who are what from
A: Those who are under the age of majority.
In Australia, Aboriginal people were not given the
right to vote until when?
Suffrage is typically only for whom?
A: Citizens of the country, though further limits may be imposed.