Free and equal

Definition of Free and equal

As used in a constitutional provision that election shall be free and equal, the word "free” means that every one entitled to vote should have a reasonable opportunity to do so, a reasonable manner of doing so, etc., and the word "equal” means that every vote cast should have its decisive effect in the selection or choice to be made at the election. The term means that the voter shall not be physically restrained in the exercise of his right of franchise, by either civil or military authority, and that every voter shall have the same right as every other voter. Asher v. Arnett, 280 Ky. 347, 132 S.W.2d 772, 775. It is the essence of free elections that the right of suffrage be untrammeled and unfettered, and that the ballot represent and express the electors’ own intelligent judgment and conscience, and there can be no "free election” unless there is freedom of opinion. An election to be free must be without coercion of any description or any deterrent from the elector’s exercise of his free will by means of any intimidation or influence whatever, although there is no violence or physical coercion.

That's the definition of Free and equal in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of