Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both. What electoral fraud is under law varies from country to country.
Many kinds of election fraud are outlawed in electoral legislation, but others are in violation of general laws, such as those banning assault, harassment or libel. Although technically the term 'electoral fraud' covers only those acts which are illegal, the term is sometimes used to describe acts which are legal but nevertheless considered morally unacceptable, outside the spirit of electoral laws, or in violation of the principles of democracy. Show elections, in which only one candidate can win, are sometimes considered to be electoral fraud, although they may comply with the law.
In national elections, successful electoral fraud can have the effect of a coup d'état or corruption of democracy. In a narrow election a small amount of fraud may be enough to change the result. Even if the outcome is not affected, fraud can still have a damaging effect if not punished, as it can reduce voters' confidence in democracy. Even the perception of fraud can be damaging as it makes people less inclined to accept election results. This can lead to the breakdown of democracy and the establishment of a dictatorship.
Electoral fraud is not limited to political polls and can happen in any election where a cheater perceives the potential gain as worth the risk, as in elections for labor union officials, student councils, sports judging, and the awarding of merit to books, films, music or television programs.
Despite many instances of electoral fraud internationally, in the U.S. a major study by the Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 showed of the 300 million votes cast in that period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud – and of those few cases, most involved persons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility.
Other articles related to "electoral":
... Currently, six electoral systems are used the single member plurality system (First Past the Post), the multi member plurality system, party list PR, the single transferable vote, the ... by the Returning Officer and the compiling and maintenance of the electoral roll by the Electoral Registration Officer (except in Northern Ireland ... The Electoral Commission only sets standards for and issues guidelines to Returning Officers and Electoral Registration Officers, but is responsible for ...
... Previously the council had five electoral areas each of which elected four councillors ... meant that it was no longer permitted to have four member electoral areas and thus despite an increase in the number of wards to 23 the number of electoral areas was reduced by one ... District Council area has consisted of four electoral areas Enniskillen and Erne East, West and North ...
... See also Electoral registration in the United Kingdom In Great Britain, most electors are enrolled during the course of the annual canvass, which Electoral ... registration forms available from local Electoral Registration Officers or the Electoral Commission's website ... identity or address is necessary when submitting an application, the Electoral Registration Officer can require the applicant to provide further information ...
... The Commission conducts a wide variety of research into electoral administration, electoral registration and the integrity and transparency of party finance, and a variety of guidance materials for political ...
... Electoral reform in New Zealand has, in recent years, become a political issue as major changes have been made to both Parliamentary and local government electoral ...
Famous quotes containing the words fraud and/or electoral:
“He saw, he wishd, and to the prize aspird.
Resolvd to win, he meditates the way,
By force to ravish, or by fraud betray;
For when success a lovers toil attends,
Few ask, if fraud or force attaind his ends.”
—Alexander Pope (16881744)
“Nothing is more unreliable than the populace, nothing more obscure than human intentions, nothing more deceptive than the whole electoral system.”
—Marcus Tullius Cicero (10643 B.C.)