|Though we say that democracy has no price, the reality is that organizing and conducting a general election, which is a principle expression of democracy, necessarily implies major costs.
Among such election expenses are the salaries paid to the hundreds of citizens hired prior and during elections to ensure that voting proceeds smoothly and fairly in all the polling stations in electoral districts across the country.
Other expenses include the reimbursement of monies spent during an election and for the provision and dissemination of all the necessary information needed by voters.
Various costs have to be covered during an election campaign. These include:
Polling stations – including staff, ballot papers, ballot boxes, polling booths
Postal votes and polling cards
Count costs – including people employed to count votes and the cost of count venues
Campaigning – including canvassing, transport, manifestos, media, advertising and events
Election Financing by Political Parties
There are several ways political parties raise funds, there are no limits controlling how much parties can raise during an election; however, in some Caribbean countries there is a limit on how much they can spend.
Funds are generally rasied through the following:
- Membership fees: Members of political parties pay fees to the party.
- Donations: Parties can accept donations and loans from individuals, businesses, trade unions, or other political parties.
- Funding: In some countries, parties may receive a certain amount of state funding depending on how many MPs they have.