Electoral fraud

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Electoral fraud is the criminal manipulation of elections to secure the supposed victory of a candidate who, had the election been conducted legally and fairly, would not have won.

Many forms of electoral fraud have been recorded. These include:

  • 'personation': voters assuming the identity of another registered voter (sometimes a recently deceased voter)
  • registration of non-existent voters (e.g. "Mickey Mouse")
  • multiple voting by the same individual (for example by using a postal vote as well as voting on election day)
  • interference with ballot boxes
  • fraudulent voting by non-citizens or felons
  • bribery of election officials or poll workers
  • intentional miscounting of votes by biased election officials


Election fraud is rampant under dictatorships, which use rigged elections to consolidate their leaders' power. Examples include the re-election of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in 2008, and the sham elections for Saddam Hussein as president of Iraq in the 1990s.

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