About the Database
The choice of electoral system is one of the most important institutional decisions in any democracy. Electoral systems define the rules of the political game; they help determine who is elected, how a campaign is fought, the role of political parties, and most importantly, who governs. Furthermore, the choice of an electoral system can help to "engineer" specific outcomes, such as to encourage cooperation and accommodation in a divided society. Historically, however, it has been rare that electoral systems are deliberately chosen or carefully designed for the particular historical and social conditions of a country. In some cases, the choice has reflected the impact of colonialism; in others, the influence of neighbouring systems.
The Electoral System Design Database provides comparative data on electoral systems used in 217 countries and territories across the globe. Compared to other similar datasets, this expansive international coverage makes this database the most comprehensive source of information in the elections field. Interactive tools, including maps and graphs, allow users to easily compare regions and sub-regions, filter necessary data and export raw data for further analyses. Country pages provide in depth country level data in a historical format.