It’s hard not to notice that the election is around the corner in the United States. While this might be the first or second election you’re following, people in the United States have been voting since 1788! But elections happen in many countries, and the United Nations has calculated that 167 countries hold elections. We dug up some interesting facts about elections around the world below. How many of these facts did you know?
Some countries use political-party symbols: While voting ballots include names of candidates in the US elections, did you know that symbols play a huge role in countries like India? That’s right! To make the voting process easier, the ballots include candidate names as well as symbols. But wait, candidates can’t just pick any symbol, they need to select from a list of approved symbols!
Estonia votes online: Even if in-person voting still remains popular, people in Estonia can vote online. The option has been available to voters in Estonia since 2005.
Royal voting etiquette: Ever wondered who the Queen of the United Kingdom votes for in an election? Even though the Queen is allowed to vote, she actually doesn’t. Why? Because that would mean she’s picking a side, which is a strict no-no among royalty!
Finally, women can vote: Since 2001, six more countries have started to allow women to vote. Which countries? Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, and Afghanistan.
US voter turnout: Did you know that only 60 percent of eligible voters took part in the 2016 US election? Curious how other countries fare? In Sweden, almost 88 percent of voters turn up on Election Day!
Voting is compulsory in some countries: Belgium, Argentina, and Australia are a few examples of where it’s mandatory to cast your vote.