A high voter turnout is a sign that a country’s political system enjoys a strong degree of participation. Voter turnout rates vary hugely across the region (Figure 6.13). Over nine in every ten people turn out to vote in parliamentary elections in Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam, compared to less than one in every two people in Azerbaijan, Fiji, Georgia, and Pakistan, the lowest turnouts in the Asia/Pacific region. More than half of the eligible population votes in all other countries for data on voter turnout in parliamentary elections.

Voter turnout has declined in some OECD and Asia/Pacific countries (Figure 6.13). Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Fiji and Uzbekistan have experienced the sharpest decline in voter turnout since the 2000s. In contrast, voter participation increased most in Singapore and Turkmenistan since the 2000s.

Confidence in the electoral process is an essential element for the civic participation of citizens. Trust in honesty of elections increased in most countries across the Asia/Pacific region (Figure 6.14). Confidence in fair elections increased most in Armenia, India, Indonesia and the Philippines (by about or more than 20 percentage points); while the largest decline in trust in the election process was observed in Hong Kong, China.

In general, people who live in countries with higher trust in elections also appear to have strong confidence in the national government across the Asia/Pacific region and vice versa (Figure 6.15). India, Indonesia and Singapore tend to report high trust in elections and high confidence in national government while Georgia and Mongolia report limited confidence in government and election processes. However, the high trust in elections is not always associated with confidence in the national government. More than 70% of Azerbaijanis and Kazakhs report their trust in the national government, but only one in two trusts the election process (Figure 6.15).

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