ECMI Publications Database
Voting is a fundamental democratic right that empowers people to exercise their civil control over the politics and politicians, over the different branches of power, over the development paths of their countries. Democratic electoral systems in Europe vary greatly. But the electoral systems alone, although contributing to the specific architectures of the national democracies, are not the only factors that determine the quality of the democracy in place. Focused on legislation, rules and procedures, policy analysts sometimes tend to look at voters as "beneficiaries" and not as the active subjects who in fact have the power to change the status quo or to contribute to deformities of the political system in place, by not exercising their political and civil rights. Based on findings gathered from the field, this paper will look at the concerns and issues raised by members of non-Albanian and non-Serbian minority communities in Kosovo and will assess those in the light of the weight of the minority vote as provided by the respective legislative framework. The analysis aims at focusing the attention of stake holders, national and international organizations, and policy and decision makers, about the risks that the newly born democracy would face if no attention were to be paid to the "subjective" issues that challenge the participation of minorities in elections or census polls.