About the Database
Please note that we are working on the migration of our databases.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve our databases.
The Electoral System Design Database is comprised of various reviews of the electoral legislation of countries from around the world. The database research was sourced from national legal documents from different sources, including the official web portals of governments, regional organizations that work in the area of democracy and electoral processes, and research institutes specialized in the area of elections and politics in general. You can also view a table of the electoral systems worldwide, which provides information on the country electoral system, the electoral system family, the tier, the legislature size and the electoral system used for the president.
The database, which takes information from the Handbook of Electoral System Design, allows users to select countries and specific fields of data. They can then view the information graphically or export it.
The choice of electoral system is one of the most important institutional decisions for any democracy. Electoral systems define and structure 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.