Election fun facts

2019 will be a pivotal year for elections for many countries including Australia and India. Nearly two billion voters in 50 countries will likely vote for the leaders of their countries this year and many of them have unique histories and methods to holding an election. We’ve compiled some of the most interesting characteristics here:

saudi vote1. New Zealand was the first country to allow ‘universal suffrage’, meaning that all adult citizens the right to vote. This occurred in 1893 when women were able to vote for the first time. In contrast, Saudi Arabian women were allowed to vote for the first time in 2015 for municipal elections.

2. The microstate San Marino, situated entirely within Italy, is the only country in the world that votes in national elections every year. Here, a leader from one of two alternative parties is elected every six months. Some countries such as Denmark, Greece and Jordan do not have set periods of elections being held though this does not mean they never occur.

3. In Ecuador, men and women vote separately. However, in 2017 they allowed transgender people to choose whether to vote from the male or female line according to the gender with which they identify.

4. Estonian citizens have been able to vote online since 2005. In 2015, more than Gambians30% of voters used the online voting system with a scannable ID card and PIN.

5. In The Gambia, citizens who are illiterate are able to vote by dropping marbles into colour-coded drums with pictures of the candidates. Each drum has a bell which rings after the marble is dropped in meaning that election observers are able to tell if someone has cheated the vote.