In most instances, electoral processes will be held between two and five years apart.
- Both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights provide that elections must be held periodically. General elections are usually held at four- or five-yearly intervals, while longer periods are possible for presidential elections, although the maximum should be seven years.
- Elections must not only be regular, but they must also be held at reasonable intervals. In most constitutions, elections are held from between 2 to 5 years.
- Elections must be held at regular intervals; a legislative assembly's term of office must not exceed five years.