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", "Bugs Bunny", "SpongeBob SquarePants", etc.)
- 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
- Voter intimidation
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.