How to feel like a little fish

in the big sea of democracies… look at India!

India’s general elections are currently underway, occurring in 5 phases over the course of a month. The number of voters in Uganda during the country’s 2006 presidential and national elections — 7 million — was just slightly higher than the number of staff reported to be working on India’s election (6.5 million, though some estimates go up to 10 million!)

Some numbers to boggle your mind:

4,617 candidates
300+ parties represented
543 seats being contested in the Lok Sabha
828,804 polling stations countrywide
714 million eligible voters
1.3 million electronic voting machines
$400 million spent on the election
2 million security personnel deployed
5 voting phases across the country over the course of April and May 2009

Also, something to consider — why does it cost more for some countries to execute an election than others? I calculated that it cost Uganda about $3.50 per eligible voter in 2006, and it is costing India about $0.56 in this year’s election….hmm…

(Illustration by Jon Berkeley via The Economist)


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