Election Fraud: Detecting and Deterring Electoral Manipulation

Brookings Institution Press
Date Published: 
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez
Susan Hyde

The potential for fraud overshadows elections around the world, even in long-established democracies. Significant allegations of fraud marred recent elections in Italy, Mexico, and several former Soviet republics. In the United States, charges of manipulation in the 2000 presidential contest heightened concern about the vulnerability of all aspects of the election process, ranging from voter registration to the security of high-tech voting machines.

Fair and competitive elections are the bedrock of democratic government. They are essential mechanisms for providing public accountability, transparency, and representation. They give ordinary citizens the opportunity to choose those who govern and to express their views on the critical issues facing their community or nation. Fraud derails this process by preventing voters' voices from being heard. Yet despite its importance, too little is known about election fraud and manipulation.

Election Fraud presents research on defining, measuring, and detecting election fraud and electoral manipulation by leading scholars of election law, election administration, and U.S. and comparative politics. The first part of the book examines the U.S. understanding of election fraud in comparative perspective. The second part empirically investigates the extent and nature of election fraud in the United States. The concluding section analyzes techniques for detecting and potentially deterring fraud. These strategies include both statistical analysis and on-the-ground election monitoring.