The word ‘elect’ comes from the Latin phrase ēlēctus, which means to choose or to pick out. An election is a process where a set of population elect an individual or multiple individuals to hold an office(s). One of the basic principles of election is that the person who receives most of the votes is declared elected. This tool is not only used by the Government but also by other business and non-voluntary organisations. 

Elections have been the standard mechanism through which modern democracies function. However, the system is not of recent origin. The election system has been in usage since its inception in ancient Greece and was prevalent in ancient Rome. In India, during the Mahajanpada period, the Raja (the leader)  was elected by the Samiti (an assembly in which the entire population took part).

Election Commission which is a Constitutional Body, conducts elections in India. Representatives are elected, by way of a single transferable vote. India observes the Universal Adult Franchise (UAF) system where every citizen who is above the age of 18 is entitled to choose his/her person of representation. Polling is conducted using the Electronic Voting Machines(EVM's). These are monitored and administered by The Election Commission to ensure free and fair election process. The citizens of India directly elect the Lok Sabha members for a period of five years from delimited territorial constituencies. Generally, the leader of the political party that secures the majority in Lok Sabha is appointed as the Prime Minister of the country. Whereas, the Rajya Sabha members are indirectly elected by elected members of the respective State Legislative Assemblies. 

Elections provide a way for people to assert their voice and choose the person who matches his/her ideas and priorities. They are a mechanism for the citizens to assert their issues and opinion to their representatives. Elections enable voters to choose their leaders and hold them accountable for their performance to the public. 

Elections, therefore form a fundamental role in democratic governance.