Franchise, Types of Franchise/ Universal Adult Suffrage

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What is franchise? 

Franchise can be said to be as the right all adult citizen of a particular society has to vote and be voted for in an election. Franchise is a government terminology that strengthen right of the adult citizen through the election of proper candidate 
that they wish in that society, then also franchise is the right for a citizen to come out as candidate for election, so this has make things easy.

The people to vote them in are popularly known as the electorate while those that are aspiring for post are called candidates. People that are given right to vote varies from one country to another.

Types/forms of franchise

The two types of franchise are limited or some people call it restricted franchise, while the other is known as unlimited or universal adult suffrage. Now you know the two types of franchise we have so let go deep into the types as a whole:

Limited or restricted franchise

In this type of franchise not everyone is given the right to vote and be voted for, this system grant it to some citizens that has pass through some obligations and criteria, the condition tagged with voting may be through sex, race, the property the fellow owned, evident of tax payment, educational qualification, religious, social popularity and so on.

South African is one of those country practising restricted franchise based mainly on the term “racism” in the name of apartheid regime. Though it was abrupted in 1994 when south African gains her independent one year after the year nelson Mandela was release after the 27 years imprisonment.


Restricted franchise may be practice in all this forms and method:

  1. Sex: one sex depend or determined if one will vote, most time female are disenfranchised in the name of sex differences, this is one of the method that has made franchise totally got restricted, all human are equal but that is not applicable to any society practicing limited franchise.
  2. Income: the amount a particular individual makes may make him qualify to vote and be voted for in an election.
  3. Educational qualification: I.e there are some people who their degrees can only make them contest for election or vote in an election, here an individual education decides right to vote and be voted for .
  4. Property: the amount of wealth a particular individual got makes him qualify to vote and be voted for in an election.
  5. Race and colour: the apartheid regime system that happens in south African is the best epitome of this where all blacks are totally restricted from voting and the white were put high.
Advantages of restricted franchise

  • It give the more qualified and best citizen the chance to rule in this system.
  • It is a system that removes the uninformed from voting in an election.
  • Its in some case make use of those that are wealthy and this is good because that kind of candidate will end up helping the society with what he has.
  • Limited franchise is argued to limit the rate of election violence.
  • It is a system of using mature candidate, and it is a form of mature system compare to unlimited franchise.
Disadvantages of restricted franchise
  • It does not give all adult citizen chance to vote.
  • It is restricted to some aristocrat in the society
  • Those elected through limited franchise do no reflect popular choice.
  • Majority of the citizens of the country do not show interest in the affairs of the government since they were disenfranchised.
  • It is a system of sentiment and segregation
Universal adult suffrage
This is known as the unlimited franchise that does not rrestrict anybody from voting or to vote, it is a terminology that strengthen the equality of every individual in the society, this tends to be the most popular franchise and well known over the globe.
Unlimited franchise in synopsis is the system that give freedom to the citizens on any matter of election, without people changing their perception or limit their right.
Qualifications of universal adult suffrage
  1. Citizenship: in most countries of the world the only way to acquire citizenship might be through birth, honorary, naturalization and so on.
  2. Age: some countries e.g Nigeria, requires only any citizen of age 18 to vote and be voted for in an election.
  3. Banned politician: in a country like Nigeria presently, former politician found guilty of certain forms of corruption and those who held certain categories of post in the Nigeria second republic are banned from taking part in politics and election 
  4. State of mind: here we are not talking about the state of mind of a normal fellow, this is when a fellow who suffers insanity or brain problem can’t vote until he is declare freed
  5. Registration: only those who are qualified citizen, who registered during the registration exercise are allowed to vote.
Advantages of unlimited franchise
  1. It give qualified adult citizen equality while voting
  2. It is a system that eradicate sentiment of any race 
  3. It avoid discrimination based on sex, race, religious e.t.c
  4. Unlimited franchise cannot be easily stain or corrupt due to the fact that it is system of majority, and there is no easy way to bribe out large mass of people 
  5. It is very democratic in nature, it is a system that can be best practise in a democratic system of government.
Demerits of universal adult suffrage
  1. Majorly most of the electorate don’t have formal education, so they don’t check  the inside of the system.
  2. It is a system that could be tagged foolhardiness because of using quantity over quality.
  3. The more much people are there in an election the more the arson and all sort of ills will show up
  4. It strengthen most unqualified adult citizen to contest and win election.
  5. The type of government formed with the representatives elected through unlimited franchise seems to be mediocre in outlook
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