Elections are recognized as human rights events involving far more than ballot boxes, voter registers and campaign posters. In order to hold free and fair elections, countries sometimes seek international assistance in fulfilling international human rights standards and in establishing and strengthening the necessary legal, technical and physical infrastructures. This Handbook explores the basic international human rights principles relating to free and fair elections and the right to take part in government. Although it is not an exhaustive compendium of electoral issues, it does provide some notion of the fundamental elements of modern democratic elections and the complexity of their conduct. It also describes how the United Nations helps countries in applying those principles.