Election Universe

Some 478 million voters in the Americas to restore faith in Democracy

Some 478 million voters in the Americas to restore faith in Democracy
January 03 2018, 15:25

The year 2018 will be an important one for the Americas as roughly 82% of the approximately 580 million eligible voters in the region are expected to cast a ballot in presidential, legislative or local elections.

The unusually high number of expected voters is due to the fact that the four most populated countries in the region –USA, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia– are set to hold elections this year.

Country Population


USA 326 million 230 million
Brazil 207 million 144 million
Mexico 124 million 89 million
Colombia 47 million 36 million

(Source for Population https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/)

Furthermore, seven of the eight top economies in the region will elect new leadership, with six Latin American countries electing new presidents (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica Mexico, Paraguay and Venezuela).

The big story here is how the region, which embraced democracy almost unanimously decades ago, is coping with the recent tide of populism sweeping the across the globe. In 2015, a Pew Research Center survey found that, across 31 emerging and developing nations, a median of 52% were dissatisfied with their political system, while only 44% were satisfied. And the World Bank’s 2017 World Development Report, revealed that election turnout has declined by more than 10% in the last 25 years.

According to the “Freedom In The World” report published by Freedom House, a total of 67 countries “suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties in 2016, compared with 36 that registered gains.” Even the United States of America, long acknowledged to be the beacon of democracy, fell victim to the trend — the country’s aggregate score having declined from 90 to 89.

This year’s elections represents a unique opportunity to reverse these trends, enfranchise citizens and strengthen democracy. Observers are hoping that 2018 is the year of the great pushback where voters participate in decision making, and cause a revival of democracy and democratic institutions.

elections 2018