A review of electoral politics in independent Sierra Leone over a quarter of a century reveals a wide range of experiences with electoral systems including several fundamental changes in both their substance and meaning. This chapter presents a review of the Sierra Leone experience which suggests that elections are far from irrelevant, that they are in many respects increasingly important, but have many and changing meanings—some quite different from our usual assumptions about elections. It suggests both the growing power of political elites and their ability to manipulate the masses, and the profound limits on that power. The chapter suggests the importance of long-term experience with electoral processes and the consequences of a knowledgeable citizenry. Electoral competition during the period 196171967 was open and competitive. Beginning with the 1968 by-elections, violence became a new and important factor in the electoral process and continued to escalate in the 1973 national elections.