Electoral fraud involves illegal interference with the process of an election. It differs from but often goes hand-in-hand with voter suppression. Successful electoral fraud on a sufficient scale can have the effect of a coup d’état, protest or corruption of democracy. In April 2020, a 20-year voter fraud study by MIT found the level of fraud in the U.S. to be ‘exceedingly rare’
About Electoral fraud in brief
Electoral fraud involves illegal interference with the process of an election. It differs from but often goes hand-in-hand with voter suppression. What exactly constitutes electoral fraud varies from country to country. In national elections, successful electoral fraud on a sufficient scale can have the effect of a coup d’état, protest or corruption of democracy. In April 2020, a 20-year voter fraud study by MIT found the level of fraud in the U.S. to be ‘exceedingly rare’ It occurs only in ‘0. 00006 percent’ of instances nationally, and, in one state, about five times less likely than getting hit by lightning. It can occur in advance of voting if the composition of the electorate is altered. The legality of this type of manipulation varies across jurisdictions. Deliberate manipulation of election outcomes is widely considered a violation of the principles of democracy and is known as ‘vote rigging’. People who support one party may temporarily join another party in order to elect a weak candidate for that party’s leadership. The goal ultimately is to defeat the weak candidate in the general election by the leader of the party that the voter truly supports. There were claims that this method was being utilised in the UK Labour Party leadership election in 2015, where Conservative-leaning Toby Young encouraged Conservatives to join Labour and vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Shortly after, #ToriesForCorbyn trended on Twitter. The composition of an electorate may also be altered by disenfranchising some classes of people, rendering them unable to vote. In some cases, states have passed provisions that raised general barriers to voter registration, such as poll taxes, literacy and comprehension requirements, which in practice were applied against minority populations to discriminatory effect.
From the turn of the 1960s, most southern states of the former Confederacy were disenfranchised by literacy tests and record requirements. Corrupt election officials may misuse such measures such as a literacy test or test for proof of identity or address. Groups may also make it difficult for their targets to cast a vote. Many states have been disenfranchised in many states as a strategy to prevent African Americans from voting as a result of post-Reconstruction or Jim Crow era of 1965 Felons have been denied the right to vote until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In many countries, such rules tend to disenfranchise those with no fixed address. Such laws can also be used for demographic manipulation as they tend to restrict the voting rights of the homeless, travelers, Roma, students, and some casual workers. For instance, Malaysia gave citizenship to immigrants from the neighboring Philippines and Indonesia, together with suffrage, in order for a political party to dominate the state of Sabah; this controversial process was known as Project IC. It is also possible for people eligible for public housing to vote for a particular party, then they can either be concentrated into one area, thus making their votes count for less, or moved into marginal seats, where they may tip the balance towards their preferred party.