Why do elections matter?

Over the past three decades elections have become almost universal. Yet while they hold tremendous promise to deepen the quality of democratic governance, they can also be problematic.

Photo - Brittany Danisch - Ballot sections are separated for counting

In some cases, elections can undermine institutions, fuel conflict and corruption, and drive political short-termism. However, elections should command attention: not only are they one of the most visible elements of democracy, but are also one of the main areas through which the international community has sought to support emerging democracies. This ongoing initiative seeks to assess the quality of governance in emerging democracies by tracking and responding to electoral themes and processes.

Read our research reports on elections:

Opinion series

Photo - Afghan Elections 2009 - US Embassy Kabul Afganistan.jpg

Read our blogs and podcasts responding to major elections