In sports, each coach has his own system. Sometimes they're really well crafted, honed over years of experience, and work. Sometimes they're stupid. However, even a crappy system can result in victory if the players all play within it.
A business works the same way, usually. A crappy boss can ruin efficiency, but a boss in business is really one of the players. Adherence to the system is the surest path to success, since only by adhering to it can you tell if it's working.
And so it is with elections in democratic republics. The election may have various kinds of errors, but generally the errors will be divided equally among the candidates. The voters can be "wrong", but since it's an election the voters are by definition "right", even when they make a mistake on their ballot.
My advice to candidates in close elections: ask for a recount, accept the results and if you lose ... go back to chasing ambulances.