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An election is a way people can choose their candidate or their preferences in a democracy or other form of government.

Most democratic countries hold new elections for their national legislature every few years, but this differs from country to country. Some democracies elect other national officials (such as a president). In others, these are appointed. Democratic countries also hold local (or municipal) elections. Some democracies have regional, provincial or state elections too.

There are different ways to organize an election in different countries. Voters might vote for an individual, or they might vote for a political party (party list). This is because different countries use different voting systems.

Countries that are not democracies can also hold elections. This is usually done to let the people choose a local representative (like a mayor). Also many countries call themselves democracies, but behind the scenes have a more autocratic form of government. Elections are done between the main person and the opposition.

Psephology is the study of elections.