In the new millennium the democratizing force of elections is contested. Different from the growing literature on electoral authoritarianism, Staffan Lindberg has argued that in Africa, elections are a new mode of democratic transition. Attempts to replicate his findings for other regions have failed, raising the question whether perhaps Africa is unique. This paper reexamines the evidence and finds that in Africa, too, democratization by elections is very much the exception. Instead of a general trend towards more democracy over successive elections, we find a variety of trajectories. Future research should address this diversity to better understand the contingent impact of elections.