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Freedom on the ballot worldwide

2024 is shaping up to be a truly historic election year as billions of people in over 60 countries head to the polls. (Illustration by Kokopelli staff)

As billions of people across the globe cast their ballots in 2024, the fate of freedom in over 60 countries hangs in the balance.

The interactive story map below comprises a list of all the countries in the world where national elections have taken place or are scheduled to take place in 2024. The map draws from a variety of sources including the Associated Press, the International Foundation of Electoral Systems, Our World in Data, Reuters, Time magazine, and others, to provide a comprehensive overview of what some are calling the “biggest global election year in history.”

The map is linked to a series of slides arranged alphabetically by country. The slides are color-coded in accordance with each country’s 2023 freedom and fairness score. From dark red (indicating least free and fair) to dark blue (representing most free and fair), the colors of the slides and map points represent different levels of democratic integrity.

Along with general information regarding location, election date(s) and political standing, this story map offers insight into the potential consequences of voters’ decisions around the world.

(Make sure you check out the expanded, fully interactive version of the map.)

“Other traditionally free and fair nations of the world including the United States of America have slipped in recent years. Even in countries with well-established democratic norms, these norms have started to erode.”

In some countries rated the least free and fair, unstable governments continue to weaken or outright destroy individual freedom and faith in electoral systems. The west African country of Guinea-Bissau, for example, is in political and economic disarray. The president there has dissolved the opposition-controlled legislature twice within 12 months of the last parliamentary election. In Mali, the ruling military junta has suspended elections indefinitely. In Syria, it’s unclear whether the People’s Council elections set for July will proceed as planned, and this year’s presidential election in Ukraine has been canceled as the war-torn nation is currently operating under martial law.

(Illustration by Kokopelli Staff)

Other traditionally free and fair nations of the world including the United States of America have slipped in recent years. Even in countries with well-established democratic norms, these norms have started to erode. In the United States, the presumptive GOP nominee and presidential frontrunner is currently on trial in a Manhattan criminal courtroom for allegedly falsifying business documents in order to conceal sexual misconduct and other damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election. The same candidate is facing 88 felony charges in four separate jurisdictions. A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 62% of U.S. adults say democracy in the United States could be at risk depending on who wins the presidential election in November.

Other countries, such as Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, South Korea and Uruguay, remain among the most free and democratic countries in the world. These nations will hold elections in 2024 as well, and 400 million European citizens will be called upon to vote in June to elect the next European Parliament. 

2024 is shaping up to be a truly historic election year as billions of people in over 60 countries head to the polls. As election results continue to pour in over the next seven months, a clearer picture of freedom and democracy’s fate and standing in the world should begin to emerge.

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