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One Village Votes: Elections in Shidong, China

  • One of the most important democratic experiments of the last 25 years has been the movement in 600,000 villages across China toward competitive elections, allowing 75 percent of the nation's 1.3 billion people to elect their local leaders. The Carter Center has worked with the Chinese government to help standardize the vast array of election procedures taking place in this new democratic environment and to foster good local governance. All Photos: The Carter Center/ Jian Yi | Carter Center Slideshow (2006)

  • Election staff check the ballot box to make sure it is empty, then lock it. After sealed bags containing blank ballot tickets are opened, staff count and announce to all present the number of ballots, as a measure against ballot tampering or fraud. This number must equal the total of used and unused ballots counted by officials when the polls close. All Photos: The Carter Center/ Jian Yi

  • A voter presents his registration to vote in Shidong Village, China. All Photos: The Carter Center/ Jian Yi

  • Yu Jinhe (center) runs a family plantation and a hostel. During his first time as a member of the election staff, he checked IDs and issued ballots. All Photos: The Carter Center/ Jian Yi

  • Pang Chunxi, a local farmer, brings his son, Pang Jingquan, to the polling station. All Photos: The Carter Center/ Jian Yi

  • The five-year-old watches as his father votes and drops his ballot in one of the secret ballot booths. Chunxi said he hopes the candidates he selects will truly serve the villagers. All Photos: The Carter Center/ Jian Yi

  • Li Changyuan and another election staff colleague take a roving ballot box to the elderly, those who are sick, and others unable to make it to the polling station. All Photos:The Carter Center/ Jian Yi

  • Here, they visit the house of Xu Rongkui, age 70. All Photos: The Carter Center/ Jian Yi

  • Electoral staff open the ballot boxes. All Photos: The Carter Center/ Jian Yi

  • The ballots are counted and sorted. All Photos: The Carter Center/ Jian Yi

  • Voters witness the counting process as Xu Wenyuan records each vote on the chalk-board after it is read aloud by his colleagues. All Photos: The Carter Center/ Jian Yi