While democracy is unknown in the world of Might & Fealty, elections do happen. Mostly, among the lords of a realm. There are two kinds of voting in this game, formal votes and informal referendums.

Proper Elections

Normally only called by the realm's internal bureaucrats, these are elections with actual game-mechanics consequences. The most common cause is when a realm ruler dies without an heir. Somehow, a new ruler needs to be decided, and an election is how this is done. In addition, realm positions can also be made into elected positions and even given a limited term.

An election allows every person of the realm to give their support to any other person of the realm for the available position. In addition to this formal process, everyone can also announce they are interested in the position and run a campaign, if they want to.

The voting process itself is quite simple: Every person gets a voting sheet where he can vote in favor, neutral, or opposed to every other person. These votes can also be changed at any time, until the election is over, at which point the scores are tallied, positive and negative votes added up and the winner announced. In case of a draw, the First One with the most votes in favor wins. If that is still a draw, the winner is decided by a random draw.

Informal Referendums (TODO)

These are basically opinion polls and consist of a number of free-text options that can be voted up or down in the same way. They have no game-mechanical effect, but of course they can be used as the basis for decisions that do. For example, a poll about whether or not to go to war with some neighbouring realm will end with a result, but it is then up to the ruler to turn that result into action.

Election Principles

This is not an age of democracy, so while there are votes, they are neither free, nor equal, nor secret.

First of all, votes are always open and public. Everyone can see who voted how, both during and after the election.

Second, depending on the election, not everyone may be able to vote. There are several defined vote counting methods that should satisfy every realm and culture:

by banner
This method gives voting rights to all banner carriers of the realm, or every First One of the realm. They each have one vote.
by spears
This method gives power to the warriors and military. One vote is counted for every soldier under your command, either in your army or stationed at one of your estates.
by swords
This is a more refined method of the military count, it prevents inflation of votes through cheap troops as it makes heavier troops count for more.
by horses
This method is very similar to by spear, in that it counts solders, but only those that are mounted. Each mounted soldier is worth a single vote.
by land
This excludes the landless knights and gives votes only to those who hold estates, with one vote given per estate.
by land in realm
Very similar to a vote by land, but only counts lands in the realm that the election is being held (to include subrealms).
by fortifications
This excludes the landless knights and favors those lords that have more developed castles.
by foritifactions in realm
Very similar to by fortifications, but will only count fortifications that exist in the realm the election is in (to include subrealms).
by heads
Here, the sizes of estates matter and one vote is counted per peasant in each estate, giving larger settlements more weight.