Iranian women queue to vote for the presidential and municipal councils' elections in the city of Qom, south of the Iranian capital, Tehran, on May 19, 2017. Keystone
A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, shows his ink-marked finger after voting during the state assembly election in the town of Ayodhya in India's Uttar Pradesh state on February 27, 2017 Reuters
An elderly woman leaves a crowded voting station as Moldovan citizens living in the nearby Trans-Dniester separatist region wait to vote in Varnita, Moldova, on November 13, 2016. Keystone
Supporters of Hong Kong Chief Executive candidate John Tsang cheer during his rally in Hong Kong on March 24, 2017. Keystone
Venezuela, July 30, 2017: A woman searches on an official list for the voting machine that will print her personal ballot paper. The election is for a constitutional assembly in Caracas, (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos) Keystone
Kenyans queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Nairobi, Kenya, on August 8, 2017. Keystone
A man reads a newspaper in Rome, Italy, on December 5, 2016 concerning the result of a key referendum that rejected reforms to parliament, and the division of powers between the state, the regions and administrative entities. Reuters
A voter arrives at a polling station in Kentmere, Cumbria, to cast his vote in Britain's general election on June 8, 2017. Keystone
People try to pass a police line in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that is controlling demonstrators protesting against the results of the presidential elections on December 5, 2016. Reuters
A woman holds her ballot paper while leaving a voting booth at a polling station in Moscow, Russia, on September 18, 2016. Keystone
A supporter of the 'no' vote, holds a Turkish flag during a protest regarding Sunday's referendum outcome at Izmir, Turkey, on April 18, 2017. Turkey's main opposition party has filed a formal request seeking the referendum to be annulled because of voting irregularities. Keystone
An East Timor election official marks a voter's finger at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Dili, East Timor, on July 22, 2017. Keystone
A man casts his vote for the presidential election at a polling station in Seoul, South Korea, on May 9, 2017. Keystone
Voters take photos of Tokyo Governor and head of Tokyo Citizens First party Yuriko Koike as she delivers a speech in Japan's capital on June 23, 2017. Reuters
A dog waits for its owner to vote during the first round of the French parliamentary election in Nice, France, on June 11, 2017. Reuters
A demonstrator in Brasilia wears a mask of Brazil's President Michel Temer during a vote on August 2, 2017 to pursue corruption charges against Temer Reuters
A woman wearing a dress with the colours of the Rwandan flag arrives at a polling station in Kigali, on August 4, 2017 to vote in the presidential election. AFP
A worker gives out stickers for the US presidential election at a polling station at the Princeton Baptist Church in North Carolina on November 8, 2016. Keystone
Around half of the world’s population can vote in elections or for political reforms, whether by marking a ballot paper with an X or by leaving a simple fingerprint next to their choice. On the International Day of Democracy, a look at how people vote around the world.
This content was published on September 15, 2017 - 11:00
Who will become president? Which candidate has been elected to parliament? Are we getting more freedoms? Last year citizens in 72 countries could vote in political elections.
The Economist’s 2016 Democracy Index almost one-half of the world’s countries can be considered to be democracies of some sort, but the number of “full democracies” has declined from 20 in 2015 to 19 in 2016. External link
Examining the roots of the contemporary crisis of democracy, the Economist writes: “Popular engagement and participation need to be sustained to make a substantive difference to the quality of democracy.” Electoral process, pluralism and political participation are several of the categories on which the index is built.