In America, the president is indirectly elected, even though most voters' ballots would list the candidates by name. In 2016, Trump received 304 electoral votes. In parliamentary systems, the PM still has a constituency, in the most recent UK general election, Boris Johnson received 25,351 votes personally in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

So which directly elected official has had the most votes for them in a personal capacity, in a free and fair system? The largest number I've found so far is the 2018 Brazilian general election: 57,797,847 votes for Bolsanaro in run-off voting. I checked out India's president - but they are also elected through an electoral college.

  • 2
    What is a sufficiently free and fair system? According to the Democracy Index the US is not full democracy.
    – raznagul
    Oct 7, 2020 at 15:09
  • 1
    @raznagul If you want to give a number, let's say a >6.0 on that index Oct 7, 2020 at 15:10
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    Why are you only counting votes in the Electoral College for US elections, not actual votes?
    – divibisan
    Oct 7, 2020 at 15:35
  • @divibisan Because I'm interested in the quirk that many nationwide offices aren't directly elected. Oct 7, 2020 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


The president and vice president of Indonesia (democracy index 6.48) are directly elected by popular vote. The current president Joko Widodo got 85,607,362 votes in the 2019 election.

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