Civic education deals with broader concepts underpinning a democratic society such as the respective roles and responsibilities of citizens, government, political and special interests, the mass media, and the business and non-profit sectors, as well as the significance of periodic and competitive elections. It emphasizes not only citizen awareness but citizen participation in all aspects of democratic society. Civic education is a continual process, not tied to the electoral cycle.
Voter information and voter education, however, may be part of larger civic education endeavors. Civic education may be carried out through the school and university system, through civil society organizations, and perhaps by some state agencies, although not necessarily the election authority. Since 1987, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems has worked with citizens around the world on civic education to ensure their voices are heard.