Modern discoveries about the true nature of celestial objects has undermined the theoretical basis for believing that their motions affect luck, and empirical scientific investigation has shown that predictions and recommendations based on these systems are not accurate.:85;:424 Astrology in general is regarded as a pseudoscience.
A rudimentary form of electional astrology was used by the Babylonians beginning sometime after the 16th century BCE. This and other Babylonian forms of astrology were passed on to the Egyptians, Indians and Persians; although the Indians were the group that made the most use of it. Early Vedic astrologers also used a sophisticated form of electional astrology known as Muhurta (Muhurat) that was used for choosing the start of yajnas, travel, warfare, marriage and even filmmaking (muhurat shot) etc.
Modern electional astrology, as well as most other astrology, can in general be traced directly back to Book Five of Dorotheus of Sidon's treatises in Greek on the subject, Carmen Astrologicum from the 1st Century CE. This is the oldest treatise on electional astrology.
In electional astrology, an astrologer is given an event the querent intends to plan. The astrologer then finds a date and time most auspicious for the event to take place, around which the querent bases the following plans. The method of coming to these conclusions is based on the relative positions of stars, planets and other celestial bodies at various times. Each celestial body's placement means something particular to the tradition the individual astrologer is using, in combination with the natal chart of the querent.
Elections, or predictions for auspicious times, are usually divided into three branches, which are used depending on the type of event being planned.
Radical elections rest on the assumption that an election should be performed primarily based on the natal chart of the querent or person for whom the election is being performed. An underlying assumption of radical elections is that, because each person was born under different astrological conditions, the most auspicious time to hold an event will be different for each.