IT may not seem like it from where you’re sitting, but elections here are relatively democratic and civil affairs.

OK, we have leaflet infestation, and politicians behaving badly to each other on the telly, but at least they can still get out there and ask for your vote. And at least we can be sure our ballot boxes won’t wind up at the bottom of the Clyde with some bricks attached.

If you cast an eye elsewhere, you realise just what a fragile old business democracy can be.

Elections in Russia are free and fair so long as you plan to vote for President Putin. Start an anti-Putin party and you’ll get flung in the pokey. If you’re lucky.

Cast your vote in some parts of the African continent and you may find out that the leader you backed for a four-year term, actually had 40 in mind. And isn’t too fussy how he stays in power.

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Take a look at Myanmar, which signed up some years back to a multi party state, but where the military didn’t much care for coming off second best – even with a guaranteed number of seats. So it’s trying to solve the problem by shooting its own electors.

Yet what I find most worrying, given its billing as the land of the free, are developments in parts of America.

The state governor of Georgia, who rose to that post via some pretty blatant dirty tricks, is now trying to rig the mid term elections due next year.

Already he’s put in place regulations like car licence IDs, in the knowledge that many more Republican (and white) voters are liable to be drivers.

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He’s closed off a host of drop-off boxes for ballots – just as, in the Presidential election, he closed down some polling stations altogether.

All that is troubling enough, but now he’s banned the provision of water for any voters spending hours standing in line.

You might have thought queuing to vote wouldn’t happen in the world’s number one technocracy, but it is so.

A combination of all of the above sharp practices have meant that people who want to participate in their own electoral process have to negotiate a whole host of artificial hurdles. Plus maybe writing off an entire working day to stand in line.

So if you’re thinking about complaining about the hassle of sending off a postal vote if the pandemic is still with us, please don’t.

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