An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. It is used in Democratic nations. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, for regional and local government; this process is used in many other private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary associations and corporations. The universal use of elections as a tool for selecting representatives in modern representative democracies is in contrast with the practice in the democratic archetype, ancient Athens, where the Elections were not used were considered an oligarchic institution and most political offices were filled using sortition known as allotment, by which officeholders were chosen by lot. Electoral reform describes the process of introducing fair electoral systems where they are not in place, or improving the fairness or effectiveness of existing systems.

Psephology is the study of other statistics relating to elections. To elect means "to select or make a decision", so sometimes other forms of ballot such as referendums are referred to as elections in the United States. Elections were used as early in history as ancient Greece and ancient Rome, throughout the Medieval period to select rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperor and the pope. In Vedic period of India, the Raja of a gana was elected by the gana; the Raja belonged to the noble Kshatriya varna, was a son of the previous Raja. However, the gana members had the final say in his elections. During the Sangam Period people elected their representatives by casting their votes and the ballot boxes were tied by rope and sealed. After the election the votes were counted; the Pala King Gopala in early medieval Bengal was elected by a group of feudal chieftains. Such elections were quite common in contemporary societies of the region. In the Chola Empire, around 920 CE, in Uthiramerur, palm leaves were used for selecting the village committee members.

The leaves, with candidate names written on them, were put inside a mud pot. To select the committee members, a young boy was asked to take out as many leaves as the number of positions available; this was known as the Kudavolai system. The modern "election", which consists of public elections of government officials, didn't emerge until the beginning of the 17th century when the idea of representative government took hold in North America and Europe. Questions of suffrage suffrage for minority groups, have dominated the history of elections. Males, the dominant cultural group in North America and Europe dominated the electorate and continue to do so in many countries. Early elections in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States were dominated by landed or ruling class males. However, by 1920 all Western European and North American democracies had universal adult male suffrage and many countries began to consider women's suffrage. Despite mandated universal suffrage for adult males, political barriers were sometimes erected to prevent fair access to elections.

The question of who may vote is a central issue in elections. The electorate does not include the entire population. In Australia, Aboriginal people were not given the right to vote until 1962 and in 2010 the federal government removed the rights of prisoners serving for 3 years or more to vote. Suffrage is only for citizens of the country, though further limits may be imposed. However, in the European Union, one can vote in municipal elections if one lives in the municipality and is an EU citizen. In some countries, voting is required by law. In Western Australia, the penalty for a first time offender failing to vote is a $20.00 fine, which increases to $50.00 if the offender refused to vote prior. A representative democracy requires a procedure to govern nomination for political office. In many cases, nomination for office is mediated through preselection processes in organized political parties. Non-partisan systems tend to be different from partisan systems as concerns nominations. In a direct democracy, one type of non-partisan democracy, any eligible person can be nominated.

Although elections were used in ancient Athens, in Rome, in the selection of popes and Holy Roman emperors, the origins of elections in the contemporary world lie in the gradual emergence of representative government in Europe and North America beginning in the 17th century. In some systems no nominations take place at all, with voters free to choose any person at the time of voting—with some possible exceptions such as through a minimum age requirement—in the jurisdiction. In such cases, it is not required that the members of the electorate be familiar with all of the eligible persons, though such systems may involve indirect elections at larger geographic levels to ensure that some first-hand familiarity among potential electees can exist at these levels; as far as partisan systems, in some countri

Nancy Batson Crews

Nancy Batson Crews was one of the original women to participate in the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron during World War II. Crews was born to Stephen and Ruth Batson in 1920 and she was one of four children. Crews considered herself fortunate to be born into an upper-middle-class family, as well as, parents that allowed her to be outside the Southern belle ideal, her mother instilled Southern allowed Crews to be who she wanted to be. She wanted to fly. Additionally, Crews was an excellent athlete during her youth, she participated in horseback riding and golf. During high school, Crews was on the cheerleading team. At the University of Alabama, Crews was elected to the highest coed office. In 1941, she graduated from University of Alabama. On February 1, 1946 she married Paul Crews and together they had three children, Paul and Elinor. What was believed to be pneumonia was lung cancer which caused Crews' death on January 14, 2001. In August 1943, WAFS was changed to WASP. was created because Col. William H. Tunner commander of the Ferrying Division needed so many ferry pilots that he was willing to allow trained women to perform the job.

In 1944, Crews graduated from pursuit school. Crews' assignment was to ferry P-47s from the factory to embarkation points to be moved to war zones, she would travel one coast to the other at heights up to four miles high at three hundred miles per hour. She was one of the first twenty-eight women to pilot a United States plane in World War II. While Crews stopped flying between 1949 and 1959 because her children were young, she continued to fly for most of her life. During the 1960s, Crews and her Super Club created a flying business. Through her business, she learned to how fly gliders and became an instructor. In her seventies, she created a home development business, she was the first president of WAFS post-war organization between the year 1972–1975. Additionally, she was elected mayor of California City for one term in 1978, she served one term as the St. Claire County Airport Commissioner. At seventy-nine, Crews co-piloted a corporate turbojet for eighty hours. In 1989, Crews was inducted into the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame.

In 1997, a plaque with her name was placed outside of Forest of Friendship. In 2004, she was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame. On March 10, 2010 Crews and the WASPs as a whole received a Congressional Gold Medal. Crews' uniform, Mooney Mite, first logbook are kept at the Southern Museum of Flight in Alabama. Crews, Nancy Batson, Dawn Letson, Patricia J. Williams. Nancy Batson Crews: An Oral History. 2000. OCLC 46596404 Gott, Kay. Women in Pursuit: Flying Fighters for the Air Transport Command Ferrying Division During World War II: A Collection & Recollection. McKinleyville, CA: K. Gott, 1993. ISBN 0-9633075-0-9 OCLC 28056091 Rickman, Sarah Byrn. Nancy Batson Crews: Alabama's First Lady of Flight. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2009. ISBN 0-8173-5553-7 OCLC 311310233 Rickman, Sarah Byrn; the Originals: The Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of World War II. Sarasota, FL: Disc-Us Books, 2001. ISBN 1-58444-263-8 OCLC 47293680 Turner, Betty Stagg. Out of the Blue and into History. Arlington Heights, IL: Aviatrix Pub.

2001. ISBN 1-928760-02-3 OCLC 47092991 NANCY BATSON CREWS Nancy Batson Crews World War II and Alabama

Gwen Bingham

Lieutenant General Gwendolyn Bingham is an officer in the United States Army and is the current Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management. Bingham served as the Commander of the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command headquartered at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan and as the Commanding General, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, she was the 51st Quartermaster General of the United States Army and Commandant of the U. S. Army Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, Virginia - the first female officer to hold these positions. Gwen Bingham is a native of Alabama, she graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in general business management. She was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps as a distinguished military graduate of Army ROTC, she has a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Science in national security strategy and resources from the National Defense University. Her military schooling includes Advanced Courses.

Bingham has served in a myriad of staff and leadership positions throughout her career to include: Platoon Leader and Executive Officer, HQ&A Company, 9th Supply and Transport Battalion, 9th DISCOM, Fort Lewis, Washington. Chief, G3 Plans Division, 13th COSCOM. Gwen Bingham was nominated for promotion to Brigadier General on August 27, 2010 and received that rank on April 22, 2011; the President sent her nomination for promotion to Major General to Congress on March 20, 2013. On June 25, 2014, Gwen Bingham became the first female commander of the United States Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. Bingham plans to retire in summer, 2019. Women in Defense Michigan 2014 Excellence in Leadership Award Nominee Awarded the Distinguished Order of Saint Martin in 2002