Every Vote Counts: The Role of Elections in Building Democracy (IFES Democracy Collection)
- Publish Date: 2007-02-23
- Binding: Paperback
Every Vote Counts starts from the premise that free and fair elections are the foundation upon which democracy is built. Given this fact, the study explores the role of foreign electoral assistance in helping to spread democracy around the globe during the past two decades. Among other issues, its authors examine: (1) the challenges of organizing elections in two of the most demanding environments of recent years (Iraq and Afghanistan); (2) the effect of African popular opinion about the quality of elections on citizens' trust in their political institutions; (3) how Ukrainians have chosen legal and electoral means to resolve disputes rather than open conflict; (4) Indonesia's growing understanding of democracy, which has resulted in increased participation; and (5) electoral assistance as a critical component of American public diplomacy and efforts to reach out to the rest of the world.
Each chapter of Every Vote Counts documents the experiences of democracy professionals, who often use case studies to describe what worked-and what didn't-on the ground, instead of relying on mere conjectures. Above all, these experts underscore the importance of providing democratic assistance long enough for local officials to acquire the expertise and confidence they need to manage elections on their own.