Meaning And Definition Of Electoral System: Features And Types

Table Of Content

  • Definition Of The Electoral System
  • Features And Requirements Of A Good Electoral System
  • Types Of Electoral System

Meaning And Definition Of The Electoral System

The electoral system may be defined as the process and procedure by which citizens of a
democratic country select through either direct voting or indirectly those who will represent them in the parliament and other positions in the government. As a result of the growth of population, great expansion of countries, specialized art of modern government, etc, direct representation or democracy practice in the ancient small Greek city whereby the citizens meet together in one place has given way for indirect representation. In this form of indirect representation, citizens choose those who will represent their interest and opinions in the legislature and other government positions. This is what is known as the electoral system.

Citizens who are qualified under the law to vote in an election in order to select their representative are called electorate. A body known as electoral commission is appointed charged with the responsibility for conducting and organizing elections in the country. The electoral commission goes with different names in different countries. For instance, it is presently known as National Electoral Commission (NEC) In Nig.

Features And Requirements For A Good Electoral System

1. An impartial and independent Electoral commission.

2. Periodic and regular elections.

3. Adoption of secret voting system.

4. Delimitation of the country into constituencies.

5. The adoption of universal adult suffrage.

6. Voting atmosphere devoid of fear of molestation and victimization.

7. Provision for the representation of all interest groups in the legislature.

8. There should be an acceptable method of nominating candidates for elections.

9. The requirements for qualification as election candidate must be clearly stipulated.

10. Compilation of comprehensive voters register that should embrace all qualified voters.

11. Regular and periodic public displayed of voters lists.

12. Periodic revision of voters lists.

13. The electorate should be given adequate political education.

14. There should be an independent judiciary that will handle election petitions without fear of favour.

15. Ballot boxes should be tightly secured.

16. Counting of votes should be publicly done and the result released immediately.

17. Polling offices and officers, ballot boxes and papers and other necessary election personnel and materials should be adequately provided and on time.

18. There should be a period for political parties to campaign for votes.

19. Certain persons like lunatics, under aged persons, criminal, bankrupts, etc. Should not be allowed to vote in an election.

Types Of Electoral System

1. Adult Suffrage: This is the type of electoral system in which all adult men and women who are not disqualified for one or the other are allowed to vote.

2. Male Suffrage: In this type of electoral system, only adult men are allowed to vote, women are prevented from voting.

3. Property Suffrage: Owners of property or assets are allowed to vote in this type of electoral system.

4. Tax-payers Suffrage: Only those who show evidence of tax payment are allowed to vote in this electoral system.

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