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How the world votes: 2019 (AJE)

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How different voting systems work around the world

In 2019, more people will vote than ever before.

Nearly two billion voters in 50 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

Some of the biggest elections include India – the world’s largest democracy with 800 million eligible voters, Indonesia – 187 million registered voters and Nigeria – 84 million registered voters.

Here’s how different voting systems work around the world:

Who’s voting this year?

There are three main types of elections to elect a country’s leader.

Presidential election

Voters elect the country’s head of state or president. The president holds the highest political position and officially represents the country.

Parliamentary election

The legislative body is elected by the people and, in turn, chooses the head of the government or prime minister. The legislative body implements laws and runs the government on a day-to-day basis.

In countries without a prime minister, such as South Africa, Brazil, and the United States, the president is both the head of state and head of government.

General election

Voters elect the head of state as well as federal and local representatives.

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