Legal Dictionary


Definition of election


  • enPR: ĭ-lĕk'shən, IPA: /ɪˈlekʃ(ə)n/, SAMPA: /I"lekS(@)n/
  • Audio (US) [?]


election (plural elections)

  1. A process of choosing a new leader for a country where all eligible people cast a ballot to choose a leader or decide an issue. The majority rules and the new leader is the one who has the most votes. There are variants, such as the electoral college system of the United States, but the popular vote usually decides the victor.

    The parliamentary elections will be held in March.

Related terms

Derived terms

Further reading

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 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. 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 the referendum are referred to as elections, especially in the United States.

External links


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     warrant
2.     tampering
3.     emtio
4.     amnesty law
5.     magistrates court
6.     lex fori
7.     landed property
8.     lex situs
9.     lex causae
10.     ownership