There can be little if any doubt, it exists.
There are, in fact, really only a few questions surrounding it.
Before we delve into those questions, allow me to take a moment, to point something out.
In all situations in which people are voting between two or more folks, you can be sure there will be individuals who’re working to cement the outcome of the election, so that it results in a particular candidate taking office.
Much of the mentioned activity, is not voter fraud. Folks in all quarters, are likely to strongly believe the person they support, is for one reason or other, the better choice for the position being filled. That’s fine, and it’s a normal part of the electoral process.
On the other hand, in all but the very smallest and best watched elections, you can be relatively well assured, there are those who will work to upset the balance, in ways that are anything but reasonable, to say nothing of their legality.
This brings us to the first of the aforementioned questions, surrounding this type of fraud. The simple question would be, “What is it?”
I would be being foolish, if I told you I had a handle on each and every possible form of manipulation that might occur, in a given casting of ballots. That said, let’s take a second to cover just a few.
We’ll start with a person casting multiple ballots. This sort of thing is mostly likely to occur in elections where there’s more than one polling location, or larger elections, where the process of selection, occurs over a period of days.
If an election is decided on one day, and one’s vote may be cast in only a single location, the chances of such a thing, are obviously quite low.
The next, would be ballots being cast for or by, people unqualified to vote.
This can involve underage individuals, deceased people, folks in certain legal statuses, and those who are not lawful residents of the place where the election is occurring, to name just a few.
You can also expect folks, “proxy voting.” That is casting ballots for others, who either cannot or will not, be doing so for themselves.
It may be because they lack mental capacity—are over the legal age but haven’t the acuity to be expected to do so—like older folks, or people with mental handicaps of various kinds.
It’s also possible the person in question cares little, or not at all, about who ends up in the position or positions being decided, and allows him or her self, to be “compensated by” another, to make their choice, in some specific way.
Another, one that’s very much less likely, yet still quite possible, is the “stuffing of ballot boxes,” or “finding votes,” whether they be in the trunk of someone’s car, in a back room at a voting center, or somewhere else.
Each of the listed scenarios, can result in minor fraud. Equally, depending on their extent, the wrong done can be quite serious, and severe.
In saying this, I cover the second thing that should be asked about the illegal action being considered. That would be, “How serious is it?”
Unless a decision over who gets a particular position is quite close, if we’re only talking about a few cases of improper balloting, the effect may be negligible.
The sad reality is, far more races are quite tight, than I think people realize.
In the United States, for example, the ballots cast for the presidential election are in the millions, yet the outcome can be decided by thousands, or tens of thousands of votes. Do even potentially tens of thousands seem like a large number to you? If even ten percent of the population of America, votes in that race, we’re talking about thirty-three million people. Thousands, or even tens of thousands, is a comparative drop in the proverbial bucket.
It’s because this is the case, as many people as are concerned, worry about the amount of illicit activity that can be found in such a process of selection.
The worry is, an election can be decided by a comparative few “skilled” actors, seeking to sway the outcome.
Those who understand this fact, are rightly bothered, that there are almost certainly folks out there, working to cause a different outcome, than the one that would be forthcoming, if the population at large or their legally appointed representatives, voted such that the desired person was selected.
There are some other ways in which election fraud may be perpetrated, like attempting to change the way the process itself happens.
An example would be doing things like, making it so the electors in a presidential election here in the U. S., voted along with the popular vote for the country, rather than for the state from which they come.
There are various states, already proposing a change in this direction.
What modifying things in this fashion does, is to essentially nullify the standing system, by making it so that states that would have fallen to a given candidate for office, potentially end up going to another instead.
If all states (or even certain ones considered “swing states”—something that can literally change, election to election), took this approach, the end would be, that electoral college would cease to be a factor.
You may think that’s no big deal. As for the residents of states with smaller populations, who get some relief from a lack of representation, as a result electoral college being in place, they ought to vehemently disagree.
This discussion isn’t a simple one. As such, I have just a few words to talk about what isn’t really election fraud.
Things like, foreign powers taking out or sponsoring advertisements for given candidates, or people lying about the virtues or vices of a given candidate, fall in this realm. These sorts of things, are a matter of due diligence on the part of voters.
Where it can be argued there’re other ways foreign governments, can interfere in various elective processes, for the most part, such things don’t appear to be happening.
Is election fraud a serious issue? Sometimes. I would argue the present moment, is one such time. It’s something for which those watching elections, whenever and wherever, should always be vigilant, and it’s pretty much never, something about which folks ought to make light.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.