Electoral fraud

Electoral fraud

Overview
Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

. Acts of fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

 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. Also called voter fraud, the mechanisms involved include illegal voter registration, intimidation at polls and improper vote counting.
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Unanswered Questions
Quotations

It's not the votes that count. It's who counts the votes.

Josef Stalin

You won the election, but I won the count.

Anastasio Somoza|Anastasio Somoza, Nicaraguan leader, in 1977.

Elections have been used in the past to cover up inherently non-democratic processes. Stalin had elections, as did Hitler. So did Saddam Hussein. The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Ba'athist Iraq were not burgeoning democracies, but totalitarian dictatorships. The point here is that elections don't bring democracy.

Scott Ritter

Why is it, when 638 people voted at a precinct in Franklin County, a voting machine awarded 4,258 extra votes to George Bush? Thankfully, they fixed it, but how many other votes did the computers get wrong?

Barbara Boxer

There will never be a voting machine, that is proof of tampering by itself.

Herbert Schulze Geiping, managing director of HSG Wahlsysteme GmbH / Nedap Germany

Trust is good, control is impossible.

Tim Pritlove, Chaos Computer Club|CCC member, on the voting machine|voting machines used in german elections.

Either democracy disposes black box voting or black box voting disposes democracy.

Rop Gonggrijp|Rop Gonggrijp on Black Box Voting|Black Box Voting

I know who I voted for. They also know. But only they know who received my vote.

Amilcar Brunazo Filho

No one votes unassisted on a computer; everyone is "assisted" by anonymous programmers.

Mark Ortiz, former candidate for U.S. Representative North Carolina, 8th District
Encyclopedia
Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

. Acts of fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

 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. Also called voter fraud, the mechanisms involved include illegal voter registration, intimidation at polls and improper vote counting. What electoral fraud is under law varies from country to country.

Many kinds of voter fraud are outlawed in electoral legislation but others are in violation of general laws such as those banning assault
Assault
In law, assault is a crime causing a victim to fear violence. The term is often confused with battery, which involves physical contact. The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more...

, harassment
Harassment
Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behaviour intended to disturb or upset, and it is characteristically repetitive. In the legal sense, it is intentional behaviour which is found threatening or disturbing...

 or libel. Although technically the term 'electoral fraud' covers only those acts which are illegal, the term is sometimes used to describe acts which although legal, are considered to be 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
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 or corruption of democracy. In a narrow election a small amount of fraud may be enough to change the result. If the result is not affected, fraud can still have a damaging effect if not punished, as it can reduce voters' confidence in democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

. 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
Dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

.

Electoral fraud is not limited to political polls and can happen in any election where the potential gain is worth the risk for the cheater; as in elections for labor union officials, student council
Student council
Student council is a curricular or extra-curricular activity for students within elementary and secondary schools around the world. Present in most public and private K-12 school systems across the United States, Canada and Australia these bodies are alternatively entitled student council, student...

s, sports judging, and the awarding of merit to books, films, music or television programmes.

Despite many instances of electoral fraud, it remains a difficult phenomenon to study. This follows from its inherent illegality. Harsh penalties aimed at deterring electoral fraud make it likely that individuals who perpetrate fraud do so with the expectation that it either will not be discovered or will be excused.

Techniques



Electoral fraud can occur at any stage in the democratic process, but most commonly occurs during election campaigns, voter registration or during vote-counting. The two main types of electoral fraud are preventing eligible voters from casting their vote freely (or voting at all); and altering the results. A list of threats to voting systems, or electoral fraud methods, is kept by the National Institute of Standards and Technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology , known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards , is a measurement standards laboratory, otherwise known as a National Metrological Institute , which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce...

.

Electorate manipulation


Most electoral fraud takes place during or immediately after election campaigns, by interfering with the voting process or the counting of votes. However it can also occur far in advance, by altering the composition of the electorate. In many cases this is not illegal and thus technically not electoral fraud, although it is sometimes considered to be a violation of principles of democracy.

Gerrymandering



Gerrymandering is the drawing of electorate boundaries in order to produce a particular result. Typically, electorates will be organized so that one group of people (for example poor people or a particular ethnic or religious group) is concentrated into a small number of electorates. This means that parties favoured by that group will win by a large majority in those electorates, but lose more narrowly in a larger number of electorates. This may result in one party gaining the most votes overall but still losing the election. Gerrymandering is most common under plurality voting system
Plurality voting system
The plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system often used to elect executive officers or to elect members of a legislative assembly which is based on single-member constituencies...

s, in which the winner must win the most electorates rather than the most votes overall.

In many cases gerrymandering occurs within, or is the result of, electoral law. However it may sometimes take the form of true electoral fraud, for example if laws governing the drawing of electoral boundaries are broken, or officials are bribed or otherwise coerced into altering boundaries in a way which favours a particular group.

Manipulation of demography


In many cases it is possible for authorities to artificially control the composition of an electorate in order to produce a foregone result. One way of doing this is to move a large number of voters into the electorate prior to an election, for example by temporarily assigning them land or lodging them in flophouse
Flophouse
A flophouse , doss-house or dosshouse is a place that offers very cheap lodging, generally by providing only minimal services.-Characteristics:...

s. Many countries prevent this with rules stipulating that a voter must have lived in an electorate for a minimum period (for example, six months) in order to be eligible to vote there. However, such laws can themselves be used for demographic manipulation as they tend to disenfranchise those with no fixed address, such as the homeless, travellers
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, Roma, students (studying full time away from home) and some casual workers.

Another strategy is to permanently move people into an electorate, usually through public housing
Public housing
Public housing is a form of housing tenure in which the property is owned by a government authority, which may be central or local. Social housing is an umbrella term referring to rental housing which may be owned and managed by the state, by non-profit organizations, or by a combination of the...

. If people eligible for public housing are likely to vote for a particular party, then they can either be concentrated into one electorate, thus making their votes count for less, or moved into marginal electorates, where they may tip the balance towards their preferred party. One notable example of this occurred in the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

 under Shirley Porter
Shirley Porter
Dame Shirley Porter, Lady Porter, DBE, is a former Conservative leader of Westminster City Council in London and a prominent philanthropist in Israel and the UK. She is the daughter and heir of Sir Jack Cohen, the founder of Tesco supermarkets...

. In this case the electoral fraud relied on gaming
Gaming the system
Gaming the system can be defined as "[using] the rules and procedures meant to protect a system in order, instead, to manipulate the system for [a] desired outcome".According to James Rieley, structures in organizations Gaming the system (or bending the rules, playing the system, abusing the...

 the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

's first past the post
Plurality voting system
The plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system often used to elect executive officers or to elect members of a legislative assembly which is based on single-member constituencies...

 electoral system, as in such a system it does not matter how much a party wins or loses by. The fraudsters calculated which wards they had no hope of winning, which they were sure of winning and which wards were marginal
Marginal seat
A marginal seat, or swing seat, is a constituency held with a particularly small majority in a legislative election, generally conducted under a single-winner voting system. In Canada they may be known as target ridings. The opposite is a safe seat....

. By manipulating Westminster Council's public housing stock the fraudsters were able to move voters more likely to vote for their electoral enemies from marginal wards to the wards that they were going to lose anyway. In the ensuing elections the opposition could only win their safe seat
Safe seat
A safe seat is a seat in a legislative body which is regarded as fully secured, either by a certain political party, the incumbent representative personally or a combination of both...

s with the small Conservative leads in the marginal wards being enough for them to win these wards, and therefore maintain their majority position and control of the council. In her defence Porter raised the history of the provision of public housing in London and the context of Herbert Morrison
Herbert Morrison
Herbert Stanley Morrison, Baron Morrison of Lambeth, CH, PC was a British Labour politician; he held a various number of senior positions in the Cabinet, including Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister.-Early life:Morrison was the son of a police constable and was born in...

's boast to "...build the Conservatives out of London" by building new public housing in marginal Conservative seats.

Immigration law may also be used to manipulate electoral demography. An example of this happened in Malaysia when immigrants from neighbouring Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 were given citizenship together with voting rights in order for a political party to "dominate" the state of Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

 in a controversial process referred to as Project IC
Project IC
Project IC is the name used in Malaysia to describe the allegation of systematic granting of citizenship to immigrants by giving them identity documents known as IC , and subsequently, MyKad. The alleged practice is centered in the state of Sabah in East Malaysia...

.

A method of manipulating primary contests
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 and other elections of party leaders is related to this. People who support one party may temporarily join another party in order to help elect a weak candidate for that party's leadership, in the hope that they will be defeated by the leader of the party that they secretly support.

Disenfranchisement


The composition of an electorate may also be altered by disenfranchising some types of people, rendering them unable to vote. In some cases this may be done at a legislative level, for example by passing a law banning convicted felons, recent immigrants or members of a particular ethnic or religious group from voting, or by instituting a literacy or other test which members of some groups are more likely to fail. Since this is done by lawmakers, it cannot be election fraud, but may subvert the purposes of democracy. This is especially so if members of the disenfranchised group were particularly likely to vote a certain way.

In some cases voters may be invalidly disenfranchised, which is true electoral fraud. For example a legitimate voter may be 'accidentally' removed from the electoral roll, making it difficult or impossible for them to vote. Corrupt election officials may misuse voting regulations such as a literacy test or requirement for proof of identity or address in such a way as to make it difficult or impossible for their targets to cast a vote. If such practices discriminate against a religious or ethnic group, they may so distort the political process that the political order becomes grossly unrepresentative, as in the post-Reconstruction or Jim Crow
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

 era until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Groups may also be disenfranchised by rules which make it impractical or impossible for them to cast a vote. For example, requiring people to vote within their electorate may disenfranchise serving military personnel, prison inmates, students, hospital patients or anyone else who cannot return to their homes. Polling can be set for inconvenient days such as midweek or on Holy Days (example: Sabbath
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

 or other holy days of a religious group whose teachings determine that voting is a prohibited on such a day) in order to make voting difficult for those studying or working away from home. Communities may also be effectively disenfranchised if polling places are not provided within reasonable proximity (rural communities are especially vulnerable to this) or situated in areas perceived by some voters as unsafe.

A particular example of this strategy is the Canadian federal election of 1917, where the Union government passed the Military Voters Act and the Wartime Elections Act. The Military Voters Act permitted any active military personnel to vote by party only and allow that party to decide in which electoral district to place that vote. It also enfranchised women who were directly related or married to an active soldier. These groups were widely assumed to be disproportionately in favour of the Union government, as that party was campaigning in favour of conscription. The Wartime Elections Act, conversely, disenfranchised particular ethnic groups assumed to be disproportionately in favour of the opposition Liberal Party.

Intimidation


Voter intimidation involves putting undue pressure on a voter or group of voters so that they will vote a particular way, or not at all. Absentee and other remote voting
Postal voting
Postal voting describes the method of voting in an election whereby ballot papers are distributed or returned by post to electors, in contrast to electors voting in person at a polling station or electronically via an electronic voting system....

 can be more open to some forms of intimidation as the voter does not have the protection and privacy of the polling location. Intimidation can take a range of forms.
  • Violence or the threat of violence: In its simplest form, voters from a particular demographic or known to support a particular party or candidate are directly threatened by supporters of another party or candidate or those hired by them. In other cases supporters of a particular party make it known that if a particular village or neighbourhood is found to have voted the 'wrong' way, reprisals will be made against that community. Another method is to make a general threat of violence, for example a bomb threat
    Bomb threat
    A bomb threat is generally defined as a threat, usually verbal or written, to detonate an explosive or incendiary device to cause property damage, death, or injuries, whether or not such a device actually exists...

     which has the effect of closing a particular polling place, thus making it difficult for people in that area to vote.

  • Attacks on polling places: Polling places in an area known to support a particular party or candidate may be targeted for vandalism, destruction or threats, thus making it difficult or impossible for people in that area to vote.

  • Legal threats: In this case voters will be made to believe, accurately or otherwise, that they are not legally entitled to vote, or that they are legally obliged to vote a particular way. Voters who are not confident about their entitlement to vote may also be intimidated by real or implied authority figures who suggest that those who vote when they are not entitled to will be imprisoned, deported or otherwise punished. For example in 2004, in Wisconsin and elsewhere voters allegedly received flyers that said, “If you already voted in any election this year, you can’t vote in the Presidential Election”, implying that those who had voted in earlier primary elections were ineligible to vote. Also, “If anybody in your family has ever been found guilty of anything you can’t vote in the Presidential Election.” Finally, “If you violate any of these laws, you can get 10 years in prison and your children will be taken away from you.” Another method, allegedly used in Cook County, Illinois
    Cook County, Illinois
    Cook County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois, with its county seat in Chicago. It is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles County. The county has 5,194,675 residents, which is 40.5 percent of all Illinois residents. Cook County's population is larger than...

     in 2004, is to falsely tell particular people that they are not eligible to vote.

  • Economic threats: In company towns in which one company employs most of the working population, the company may threaten workers with disciplinary action if they do not vote the way their employer dictates. One method of doing this is the 'shoe polish method'. This method entails coating the voting machine
    Voting machine
    Voting machines are the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment , that is used to define ballots; to cast and count votes; to report or display election results; and to maintain and produce any audit trail information...

    's lever or button of the opposing candidate(s) with shoe polish
    Shoe polish
    Shoe polish , usually a waxy paste or a cream, is a consumer product used to polish, shine, waterproof, and restore the appearance of leather shoes or boots, thereby extending the footwear's life...

    . This method works when an employee of a company that orders him to vote a certain way votes contrary to those orders. After the voter exits the voting booth, a conspirator to the fraud (a precinct captain or other local person in collusion with the employee's management) handshake
    Handshake
    A handshake is a short ritual in which two people grasp one of each other's like hands, in most cases accompanied by a brief up and down movement of the grasped hands.-History:...

    s the voter. The conspirator, then, subtly checks the voter's hands for any shoe polish or notes. If the conspirator finds shoe polish or notes in the voter's hands, then that unfortunate voter gets fired or faces other unpleasant consequences.

Vote buying


The most famous episodes of vote buying came in 18th century England, when two or more rich aristocrats spent whatever money it took to win. The notorious "Spendthrift election" came in Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire is a landlocked county in the English East Midlands, with a population of 629,676 as at the 2001 census. It has boundaries with the ceremonial counties of Warwickshire to the west, Leicestershire and Rutland to the north, Cambridgeshire to the east, Bedfordshire to the south-east,...

 in 1768, when three earls spent over ₤100,000 each to win a seat.

Voters may be given money or other rewards for voting in a particular way, or not voting. In some jurisdictions, the offer or giving of other rewards is referred to as "electoral treating". In Mexico, Queensland and several other places, voters willing to sell their vote are asked to take a picture of their ballot with a cellphone camera to validate their payment. Vote buying may also be done indirectly, for example by paying clergymen to tell their parishioners to vote for a particular party or candidate. Vote buying is generally avoided by not providing a "receipt" for the counted vote, even if it's technically possible to do so.

Electoral treating remains legal in some jurisdictions, such as in the Seneca Nation of Indians
Seneca Nation of New York
The Seneca Nation of New York, also known as the Seneca Nation of Indians is a federally recognized tribe of Seneca people in New York...

.

Misinformation


People may distribute false or misleading information in order to affect the outcome of the election. Most commonly, smear campaign
Smear campaign
A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is a metaphor for activity that can harm an individual or group's reputation by conflation with a stigmatized group...

s (the circulation of false rumours) are made against a particular candidate or party. Smear campaigns are not necessarily illegal and can therefore not always be considered election fraud. However in some countries smear campaigns may violate libel or slander laws and in others, as the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, such campaigns are specifically illegal. In 2007 British politician Miranda Grell
Miranda Grell
Miranda Agnes Jayne Grell is a former Labour Party politician and councillor for the London Borough of Waltham Forest. She was the first person to be found guilty of making false statements under the Representation of the People Act 1983 and banned for holding public office for three years as a...

 was convicted under the Representation of the People Act 1983
Representation of the People Act 1983
The Representation of the People Act 1983 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It changed the British electoral process in the following ways:* Amended the Representation of the People Act 1969....

 for making a false statement about another candidate in order to gain electoral advantage.

Another way in which misinformation can be used in voter fraud is to give voters incorrect information about the time or place of polling, thus causing them to miss their chance to vote. One such example occurred in August 2011 when Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Prosperity is a Washington, D.C.–based political advocacy group. According to their literature, they promote economic policy that supports business, and restrains regulation by government...

, a Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

-leaning political advocacy group funded by David H. Koch
David H. Koch
David Hamilton Koch is an American businessman, philanthropist, political activist, and chemical engineer. He is a co-owner and an executive vice president of Koch Industries, a conglomerate that is the second-largest privately held company in the U.S...

 and Charles G. Koch
Charles G. Koch
Charles de Ganahl Koch is co-owner, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Koch Industries Inc., the second-largest privately held company by revenue in the United States according to a 2010 Forbes survey...

 of Koch Industries
Koch Industries
Koch Industries, Inc. , is an American private energy conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas, with subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading and investments. Koch also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company...

, distributed fliers in Democrat-leaning Wisconsin districts which advised voters to send in their votes two days after the election deadline.

Misleading or confusing ballot papers


Ballot papers may be used to discourage votes for a particular party or candidate, using design or other features which confuse voters into voting for a different candidate. For example, in the 2000 U.S. presidential election
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

, Florida's butterfly ballot paper was criticised as confusing some voters into giving their vote to the wrong candidate. Ironically, however, the ballot was designed by a Democrat, the party most harmed by this design. Poor or misleading design is not usually illegal and therefore not technically election fraud, but can subvert the principles of democracy.

A similar approach has been used in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, where a system with separate ballots for each party is used. Ballots from Sweden Democrats
Sweden Democrats
The Sweden Democrats is a political party in Sweden, founded in 1988. SD describes itself as a nationalist movement although others use the term far-right. Since 2005, its party chairman is Jimmie Åkesson, while Björn Söder is the party secretary and parliamentary group leader. An Anemone...

 have there been mixed with ballots from the bigger Swedish Social Democratic Party
Swedish Social Democratic Party
The Swedish Social Democratic Workers' Party, , contesting elections as 'the Workers' Party – the Social Democrats' , or sometimes referred to just as 'the Social Democrats' and most commonly as Sossarna ; is the oldest and largest political party in Sweden. The party was founded in 1889...

, which used a very similar font for the party name written on the top of the ballot.

Another method of confusing people into voting for the wrong candidate is to run candidates or create political parties with similar names or symbols as an existing candidate or party. The aim is that enough voters will be misled into voting for the false candidate or party to influence the results. Such tactics may be particularly effective when a large proportion of voters have limited literacy in the language used on the ballot paper. Again, such tactics are usually not illegal but often work against the principles of democracy.

Ballot stuffing



Ballot stuffing occurs when a person casts more votes than they are entitled to. In its simplest form, ballot stuffing literally involves 'stuffing' multiple ballot papers into the ballot box. Another method is for voters to cast votes at multiple booths, on each occasion claiming that it is their only vote. In some countries such as India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 or Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 voters get a finger marked with election ink
Election ink
Election ink or electoral stain is a semi-permanent ink or dye that is applied to the forefinger of voters during elections in order to prevent electoral fraud such as double voting...

 to prevent multiple votes. In Afghanistan's elections of 2005, this method failed as the ink used could easily be removed.

A more subtle technique is personation
Personation
Personation is a term used in law for the specific kind of voter fraud where an individual votes in an election, whilst pretending to be a different elector....

, in which a person pretends to be someone else. The person whose vote is being used may be legitimately enrolled but absent, a real but deceased person, or entirely fictitious. A particularly unsubtle form of ballot stuffing, known as booth capturing
Booth capturing
Booth capturing is a type of electoral fraud, found primarily in India, in which party loyalists "capture" a polling booth and vote in place of legitimate voters to ensure that their candidate wins...

, sometimes occurs in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. In these cases a gang of thugs will 'capture' a polling place and cast votes in the names of legitimate voters, who are prevented from voting themselves.

In jurisdictions with absentee balloting, an individual or a campaign may fill in and forge a signature on an absentee ballot intended for a voter in that jurisdiction, thus passing off the ballot as having been filled out by that voter. Such cases of voter fraud have resulted in criminal charges in the past.

Misrecording of votes


Many elections feature multiple opportunities for unscrupulous officials or 'helpers' to record an elector's vote differently from their intentions. Voters who require assistance to cast their votes are particularly vulnerable to having their votes stolen in this way. For example, a blind person or one who cannot read the language of the ballot paper may be told that they have voted for one party when in fact they have been led to vote for another. This is similar to the misuse of proxy votes; however in this case the voter will be under the impression that they have voted with the assistance of the other person, rather than having the other person voting on their behalf.

Where votes are recorded through electronic or mechanical means, the voting machinery may be altered so that a vote intended for one candidate is recorded for another.

Misuse of proxy votes


Proxy voting is particularly vulnerable to election fraud due to the amount of trust placed in the person who casts the vote. In several countries there have been allegations of retirement home
Retirement home
A retirement home is a multi-residence housing facility intended for senior citizens. Typically each person or couple in the home has an apartment-style room or suite of rooms. Additional facilities are provided within the building, including facilities for meals, gathering, recreation, and some...

 residents being asked to fill out 'absentee voter' forms. When the forms are signed and gathered, they are then secretly rewritten as applications for proxy votes, naming party activists or their friends and relatives as the proxies. These people, unknown to the voter, then cast the vote for the party of their choice. This trick relies on elderly care home residents typically being absent-minded, or suffering from dementia
Dementia
Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging...

. In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, this is known as 'granny farming' and has been restricted in recent years by a change in the law which prevents a single voter acting as a proxy for more than two non-family members therefore requiring more people to be involved in any fraud.

Destruction or invalidation of ballots


One of the simplest methods of electoral fraud is to simply destroy ballots for the 'wrong' candidate or party. This is unusual in functioning democracies as it is difficult to do without attracting attention. However in a very close election it might be possible to destroy a very small number of ballot papers without detection, thereby changing the overall result. Blatant destruction of ballot papers can render an election invalid and force it to be re-run. If a party can improve its vote on the re-run election, it can benefit from such destruction as long as it is not linked to it.

A more subtle, and easily achieved, method is to make it appear that the voter has spoiled their ballot thus rendering it invalid. Typically this would be done by adding an additional mark to the paper, making it appear that the voter has voted for more candidates than they were entitled to. It would be difficult to do this to a large number of papers without detection, but in a close election may prove decisive.

Vote fraud in legislature


Vote fraud can also take place in legislatures. Some of the forms used in national elections can also be used in parliaments, particularly intimidation and vote-buying. Because of the much smaller number of voters, however, election fraud in legislature is qualitatively different in many ways. Fewer people are needed to 'swing' the election, and therefore specific people can be targeted in ways impractical on a larger scale. For example, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 achieved his dictator
Dictator
A dictator is a ruler who assumes sole and absolute power but without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch. When other states call the head of state of a particular state a dictator, that state is called a dictatorship...

ial powers due to the Enabling Act of 1933, and achieved the necessary two-thirds majority to pass the Act by arresting members of the opposition. Later, the Reichstag was packed with Nazi party members who voted for the Act's renewal.

In many legislatures, voting is public, in contrast to the secret ballot
Secret ballot
The secret ballot is a voting method in which a voter's choices in an election or a referendum are anonymous. The key aim is to ensure the voter records a sincere choice by forestalling attempts to influence the voter by intimidation or bribery. The system is one means of achieving the goal of...

 used in most modern public elections. This may make their elections more vulnerable to some forms of fraud, since a politician can be pressured by others who will know how he or she has voted. However, it may also protect against bribery and blackmail since the public and media will be aware if a politician votes in an unexpected way. Since voters and parties are entitled to pressure politicians to vote a particular way, the line between legitimate and fraudulent pressure is not always clear.

As in public elections, proxy votes are particularly prone to fraud. In some systems, parties may vote on behalf of any member who is not present in parliament. This protects those people from missing out on voting if they are prevented from attending parliament, but also allows their party to prevent them from voting against its wishes. In some legislatures, proxy voting is not allowed, but politicians may rig voting buttons or otherwise illegally cast 'ghost votes' while absent.

Fraud prevention


The two main fraud prevention techniques can, ironically, be summarised as secrecy and openness. The secret ballot
Secret ballot
The secret ballot is a voting method in which a voter's choices in an election or a referendum are anonymous. The key aim is to ensure the voter records a sincere choice by forestalling attempts to influence the voter by intimidation or bribery. The system is one means of achieving the goal of...

 prevents many kinds of intimidation and vote selling, while transparency at all other levels of the electoral process prevents most interference.

Secret ballot



The secret ballot, in which the general public does not know how individuals have voted, is a crucial part of ensuring free and fair through preventing voter intimidation or retribution. Although it was sometimes practiced in ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and was a part of the French Constitution of 1795
French Constitution of 1795
The Constitution of 22 August 1795 was a national constitution of France ratified by the National Convention on 22 August 1795 during the French Revolution...

, it only became common in the nineteenth century. Secret balloting appears to have been first implemented in the former Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n colony
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 -- now a state
States and territories of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a...

 -- of Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

 on 7 February 1856. By the turn of the century the practice had spread to most Western democracies. Before this it was common for candidates to intimidate or bribe voters, as they always knew who had voted which way.

Transparency


Most methods of preventing electoral fraud involve making the election process completely transparent to all voters, from nomination of candidates through casting of the votes and tabulation. A key feature in insuring the integrity of any part of the electoral process is a strict chain of custody
Chain of custody
Chain of custody refers to the chronological documentation or paper trail, showing the seizure, custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of evidence, physical or electronic...

.

To prevent fraud in central tabulation, there has to be a public list of the results from every single polling place. This is the only way for voters to prove that the results they witnessed in their election office are correctly incorporated into the totals.

End-to-end auditable voting systems
End-to-end auditable voting systems
End-to-end auditable or end-to-end voter verifiable systems are voting systems with stringent integrity properties and strong tamper-resistance. E2E systems often employ cryptographic methods to craft receipts that allow voters to verify that their votes were not modified, without revealing which...

 provide voters with a receipt to allow them to verify their vote was cast correctly, and an audit mechanism to verify that the results were tabulated correctly and all votes were cast by valid voters. However, the ballot receipt does not permit voters to prove to others how they voted, since this would open the door towards forced voting and blackmail. End-to-end systems include Punchscan
Punchscan
Punchscan is an optical scan vote counting system invented by cryptographer David Chaum. Punchscan is designed to offer integrity, privacy, and transparency. The system is voter-verifiable, provides an end-to-end audit mechanism, and issues a ballot receipt to each voter...

 and Scantegrity
Scantegrity
Scantegrity is a security enhancement for optical scan voting systems, providing such systems with end-to-end verifiability of election results. It uses confirmation codes to allow a voter to prove to themselves that their ballot is included unmodified in the final tally. The codes are...

, the latter being an add-on to optical scan systems instead of a replacement.

In many cases, election observers are used to help prevent fraud and assure voters that the election is fair. International observers (bilateral and multilateral) may be invited to observe the elections (examples include election observation by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), European Union election observation missions, observation missions of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as well as international observation organized by NGOs, such as European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO), etc.). Some countries also invite foreign observers (i.e. bi-lateral observation, as opposed to multi-lateral observation by international observers).

In addition, national legislatures of countries often permit domestic observation. Domestic election observers can be either partisan (i.e. representing interests of one or a group of election contestants) or non-partisan (usually done by civil society groups). Legislations of different countries permit various forms and extents of international and domestic election observation.

Election observation is also prescribed by various international legal instruments. For example, paragraph 8 of the 1990 Copenhagen Document states that "The [OSCE] participating States consider that the presence of observers, both foreign and domestic, can enhance the electoral process for States in which elections are taking place. They therefore invite observers from any other CSCE participating States and any appropriate private institutions and organizations who may wish to do so to observe the course of their national election proceedings, to the extent permitted by law. They will also endeavour to facilitate similar access for election proceedings held below the national level. Such observers will undertake not to interfere in the electoral proceedings".

Critics note that observers cannot spot certain types of election fraud like targeted voter suppression
Voter suppression
Voter suppression is a strategy to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing people from exercising their right to vote. It is distinguished from political campaigning in that campaigning attempts to change likely voting behavior by changing the opinions of potential voters...

 or manipulated software of voting machine
Voting machine
Voting machines are the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment , that is used to define ballots; to cast and count votes; to report or display election results; and to maintain and produce any audit trail information...

s.

Statistical indicators


Various forms of statistic
Statistic
A statistic is a single measure of some attribute of a sample . It is calculated by applying a function to the values of the items comprising the sample which are known together as a set of data.More formally, statistical theory defines a statistic as a function of a sample where the function...

s can be indicators for election fraud e.g. exit poll
Exit poll
An election exit poll is a poll of voters taken immediately after they have exited the polling stations. Unlike an opinion poll, which asks whom the voter plans to vote for or some similar formulation, an exit poll asks whom the voter actually voted for. A similar poll conducted before actual...

s which diverge from the final results. Well-conducted exit polls serve as a deterrent to electoral fraud. However, exit polls are still notoriously imprecise. For instance, in the Czech Republic, some voters are afraid or ashamed to admit that they voted for the Communist Party (exit polls in 2002 gave the Communist party 2-3 percentage points less than the actual result).

When elections are marred by ballot-box stuffing (e.g., the Armenian presidential elections of 1996 and 1998), the affected polling stations will show abnormally high voter turnouts with results favoring a single candidate. By graphing the number of votes against turnout percentage (i.e., aggregating polling stations results within a given turnout range), the divergence from bell-curve distribution gives an indication of the extent of the fraud. Stuffing votes in favor of a single candidate affects votes vs. turnout distributions for that candidate and other candidates differently; this difference could be used to quantitatively assess the amount of votes stuffed. Also, these distributions sometimes exhibit spikes at round-number turnout percentage values. High numbers of invalid ballots, overvoting or undervoting are other potential indicators.

Prosecution


In countries with strong laws and effective legal systems, lawsuits can be brought against those who have allegedly committed fraud; but determent with legal prosecution would not be enough. Although the penalties for getting caught may be severe, the rewards for succeeding are likely to be worth the risk. The rewards range from benefits in contracting to total control of a country.

In Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 there are currently calls for reform of these laws because lawsuits can be and are usually prolonged by the newly elected Bundestag
Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 one such case was in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 where Bill Stinson won an election based on fraudulent absentee ballots. The courts ruled that his opponent be seated in the state Senate as a result.

In the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, former President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

 was arrested in 2011 following the filing of criminal charges against her for electoral sabotage, in connection with the 2007 Philippine general elections
Philippine general election, 2007
Legislative and local elections were held in the Philippines on May 14, 2007. Positions contested included half the seats in the Senate, which are elected for six-year terms, and all the seats in the House of Representatives, who were elected for three-year terms...

. She was accused of conspiring with election officials to ensure the victory of her party's senatorial
Senate of the Philippines
The Senate of the Philippines is the upper chamber of the bicameral legislature of the Philippines, the Congress of the Philippines...

 slate in the province of Maguindanao
Maguindanao
Maguindanao is a province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . Its capital is Shariff Aguak. It borders Lanao del Sur to the north, Cotabato to the east, and Sultan Kudarat to the south....

, through the tampering of election returns.

Electoral fraud and voting machines


All voting system
Voting system
A voting system or electoral system is a method by which voters make a choice between options, often in an election or on a policy referendum....

s face threats of some form of electoral fraud. The types of threats that affect voting machine
Voting machine
Voting machines are the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment , that is used to define ballots; to cast and count votes; to report or display election results; and to maintain and produce any audit trail information...

s can vary from other forms of voting systems, some threats may be prevented and others introduced.

Means of electoral fraud through electronic voting machines


Some forms of electoral fraud specific to electronic voting machines are listed below. Although most believe that tampering with an electronic voting machine is extremely hard to do, recent research at Argonne National Laboratories demonstrates that if a malicious actor is able to gain physical access to a voting machine, it can be a simple process to manipulate certain electronic voting machines, such as the Diebold Accuvote TS, by inserting inexpensive, readily available electronic components inside the machine.
  • Tampering with the software of a voting machine to add malicious code altering vote totals or favor any candidate.
    • Multiple groups have demonstrated this possibility.
    • Private companies manufacture these machines. Many companies will not allow public access or review of the machines source code
      Source code
      In computer science, source code is text written using the format and syntax of the programming language that it is being written in. Such a language is specially designed to facilitate the work of computer programmers, who specify the actions to be performed by a computer mostly by writing source...

      , claiming fear of exposing trade secret
      Trade secret
      A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers...

      s.
  • Tampering with the hardware
    Hardware
    Hardware is a general term for equipment such as keys, locks, hinges, latches, handles, wire, chains, plumbing supplies, tools, utensils, cutlery and machine parts. Household hardware is typically sold in hardware stores....

     of the voting machine
    Voting machine
    Voting machines are the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment , that is used to define ballots; to cast and count votes; to report or display election results; and to maintain and produce any audit trail information...

     to alter vote totals or favor any candidate.
    • Some of these machines require a smartcard to activate the machine and vote. However, a fraudulent smart card could attempt to gain access to vote multiple times.
  • Abusing the administrative access to the machine by election officials might also allow individuals to vote multiple times.

Means of prevention


One method for verifying voting machine
Voting machine
Voting machines are the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment , that is used to define ballots; to cast and count votes; to report or display election results; and to maintain and produce any audit trail information...

 accuracy is Parallel Testing, the process of using an independent set of results compared against the original machine results. Parallel testing can be done prior to or during an election. During an election, one form of parallel testing is the VVPAT. This method is only effective if statistically significant
Statistical significance
In statistics, a result is called statistically significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance. The phrase test of significance was coined by Ronald Fisher....

 numbers of voters verify that their intended vote matches both the electronic and paper votes.

On election day, a statistically significant
Statistical significance
In statistics, a result is called statistically significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance. The phrase test of significance was coined by Ronald Fisher....

 number of voting machines can be randomly selected from polling locations and used for testing. This can be used to detect potential fraud or malfunction unless manipulated software would only start to cheat after a certain event like a voter pressing a special key combination (Or a machine might cheat only if someone doesn't perform the combination, which requires more insider access but fewer voters).

Another form of testing is Logic & Accuracy Testing (L&A), pre-election testing of voting machines using test votes to determine if they are functioning correctly.

Another method to insure the integrity of electronic voting machines is independent software verification
Software verification
Software verification is a broader and more complex discipline of software engineering whose goal is to assure that software fully satisfies all the expected requirements.There are two fundamental approaches to verification:...

 and certification
Certification of voting machines
Various governments require a certification of voting machines.In the United States there is only a voluntary federal certification for voting machines and each state has ultimate jurisdiction over certification, though most states currently require national certification for the voting...

. Once software is certified, code signing can insure the software certified is identical to that which is used on election day. Some argue certification would be more effective if voting machine software was publicly available or open source
Open source
The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology...

.

Certification and testing processes conducted publicly and with oversight from interested parties can promote transparency in the election process. The integrity of those conducting testing can be questioned.

Testing and certification can prevent voting machines from being a black box
Black Box Voting
Black box voting signifies voting on voting machines which do not disclose how they operate such as with closed source or proprietary operations. The term, as described by Dr. Arnold Urken of Stephens Institute of Technology, comes from the technical jargon use of the term black box, a device or...

 where voters can not be sure that counting inside is done as intended.

One method that people have argued would help prevent these machines from being tampered with would be for the companies that produce the machines to share the source code, which displays and captures the ballots, with computer scientists. This would allow external sources to make sure that the machines are working correctly.

2000 Election in Florida and Help America Vote Act


During the 2000 Presidential Election on November 14, all counties in Florida were ordered to turn in all certified ballots by a certain time. There were two controversies concerning this recount: whether it was legal for some counties to do a manual recount, and whether it was legal for the Secretary of State to reject the recounts if they came in past the deadline.

Republicans argued that a recount is error prone and Democrats argued that manual counts have been done for centuries. The Florida Supreme Court heard two and a half hours of debate. Democrats argued that since a President does not need to be in office until Dec. 12 they should have until then to recount. Republicans replied that more time means the more chances of fraud.

The Court ruled that the recount would occur but the deadline would be Nov. 26 at 5:00p.m. When all the votes were counted, Bush won by 537 votes and by 25 electoral votes. There was a second appeal and the case jumped back and forth from the US Supreme Court to Florida’s Supreme Court. Due to all of this controversy and chaos over ballots in the 2000 election, the Help America Vote Act was created to enforce regulations to make future elections run smoother since almost 2 million ballots were disqualified in this election.

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was instituted in 2002 and helps to regulate how states conduct federal elections. It created a committee known as the EAC (Election Assistance Commission) which monitors the states and provides information on regulations for voting. The act is also responsible for replacing punch card voting systems and funding elections. By 2004, HAVA mandated that all voting booths will have touch screen electronic voting machines.

The 2000 election highlighted the problem of whether or not ballot stuffing had occurred. The 2 million ballots that were disqualified could have been legitimate. This is the risk with paper ballots and that’s why HAVA pushed for electronic voting in order to decrease the ability of fraud with ballot stuffing. Punch card voting also played a role in the disqualified ballots. People were not punching all the way and so the optical scanner could not read the votes.

Attempting to record votes manually poses a challenge and so the belief was that electronically recorded votes are more reliable. However, without a paper ballot, totally electronic balloting may be subject to viruses, tampering and deletion.

See also

  • Administrative resource
    Administrative resource
    Administrative resource is the ability of political candidates to use their official positions or connections to government institutions to influence the outcome of elections....

  • American Center for Voting Rights
    American Center for Voting Rights
    The American Center for Voting Rights or ACVR was a non-profit organization founded by Mark F. "Thor" Hearne that operated from March 2005 to May 2007 and pushed for laws to reduce voter intimidation and voter fraud, and supported requiring photo ID for voters. Its lobbying arm was called the...

  • Ballot stuffing
    Ballot stuffing
    Ballot stuffing is the illegal act of one person submitting multiple ballots during a vote in which only one ballot per person is permitted. The name originates from the earliest days of this practice in which people literally did stuff more than one ballot in a ballot box at the same time...

  • Branch stacking
    Branch stacking
    Branch stacking is the act of recruiting members for a branch of a political party for the principal purpose of influencing the outcome of internal preselections of candidates for public office...

  • Caging list
    Caging list
    Voter caging is a method of challenging the registration status of voters to potentially prevent them from voting in an election. It refers to the practice of sending direct mail to addressees on the voter rolls, compiling a list of addressees from which the mail is returned undelivered, and using...

  • Cooping
    Cooping
    Cooping was a practice by which unwilling participants were forced to vote, often several times over, for a particular candidate in an election...

  • Florida Central Voter File
    Florida Central Voter File
    The Florida Central Voter File was an internal list of legally eligible voters used by the US Florida Department of State Division of Elections to monitor the official voter lists maintained by the 67 county governments in the State of Florida between 1998 and January 1, 2006...

     (purging controversy)
  • Political corruption
    Political corruption
    Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

  • Postal voting
    Postal voting
    Postal voting describes the method of voting in an election whereby ballot papers are distributed or returned by post to electors, in contrast to electors voting in person at a polling station or electronically via an electronic voting system....

  • Show election
    Show election
    A show election, also known as a sham election or rubber stamp election, is an election that is held purely for show, that is, without any significant political purpose...

  • Smear campaign
    Smear campaign
    A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is a metaphor for activity that can harm an individual or group's reputation by conflation with a stigmatized group...


Further reading

  • Amy McGrath, (1994), The Forging of Votes, Tower House Publications, Kensington, NSW
  • Amy McGrath, (2003), Frauding of Elections, Tower House Publications and H.S. Chapman Society, Brighton-le Sands, NSW
  • Amy McGrath, (1994), The Frauding of Votes, Tower House Publications, Kensington, NSW
  • Amy McGrath, (2005), The Stolen Election, Australia 1987 According to Frank Hardy, Author of Power Without Glory, Towerhouse Publications and H.S. Chapman Society, Brighton-le Sands, NSW

External links