An election may be defined as an act of choosing or selecting candidates who will represent the people of a country in the parliament and in other positions in the government.
PURPOSES OF ELECTION
i) The primary purpose of election is to choose representatives in government.
ii) It is used to change a government.
iii) Election negates obnoxious policies.
iv) It makes rulers accountable to the citizenry.
v) It fosters democracy.
vi) It is used to measure public opinion.
vii) Election period is used to educate the electorate.
TYPES OF ELECTION
1) Direct Election: Direct election is a method by which citizens of a country who are qualified to vote, vote in an election by casting their votes directly in order to elect those that will represent them.
2) Indirect Election: Indirect election is a method by which citizens of a country elect their representatives through an Electoral College. The Electoral College is a few member of high profile who will elect the representative of the country.
Franchise may be defined as the right of qualified adult citizen of a given society to vote and to be voted for in an election. The electors are constitutionally known as the electorates.
LIMITATIONS TO FRANCHISE OR CONDITIONS FOR DISENFRANCHISEMENT
i) Alien: A foreigner is not allowed to vote in an election.
ii) Under Age: Every country has a specified age which an individual becomes an adult. In Nigeria, it is 18 years and above to vote and be voted for in an election.
iii) Registration: Failure to register as a voter or as a candidate denies an individual the right to vote or be voted for.
iv) Residence: He or she must be resident in the country or in the locality were he or she registered as a voter. Not until recently that citizens in diaspora are given avenue to partake in the election of their country.
v) Insecurity: In a state of crisis, the right to vote may be denied as there is threat to life.
vi) Criminal: Anyone who is convicted by a court of law no longer has franchise. He or she cannot vote nor be voted for in an election.
vii) Bankruptcy: Any person who declares bankruptcy cannot stand in for an election.
viii) Corrupt Practices: This will deny citizens their franchise, such as not bringing enough electoral materials like ballot papers in order to disenfranchise some voters.
ix) Logistic Problem: Logistic problems like transport for conveying electoral materials.
x) Violence: Election cannot hold in a chaotic environment, as a result many electorates will be disenfranchised.
TYPES OF FRANCHISE
i) Restricted or Limited Franchise: Not all qualified adults are allowed to vote or be voted for based on sex, race or colour, property, payment of tax etc.
ii) Universal Franchise: All qualified adult citizen are allowed to vote and be voted for.
These are the body or institution charged with the responsibility of conducting free and fair election in an election.
FUNCTIONS OF AN ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT
i) Electoral management conducts election into government offices.
ii) The body screens candidate for an election.
iii) Only the Electoral Management is empowered to announce candidate who wins the election.
iv) Electoral management educates members of the public on electoral procedures.
v) Electoral management makes provision for election like ballot papers, ballot box and other logistics.
vi) It ensures good atmospheric condition and hasten election petition by making available all required documents and materials for the litigation.
PROBLEM OF ELECTORAL MANAGEMENT
i) Problem of appointment by the executive, this is so because, he who pays the piper dictates the tune.
ii) Poor remuneration of members could result in poor attitudes toward work and buy over.
iii) Funding by executive president. If the electoral body fails to do the bidding of the president he may starve them of fund.
iv) High rate of election malpractices equally result in poor electoral exercise.
v) Political and economic instability. Occurrence of coup d’état leads to political and economic instability and election will not hold as scheduled.
vi) Lack of able man-power as required for electioneering processes.