| Note Eng|| Illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favoured candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both. What electoral fraud is under law varies from country to country.|
Many kinds of election fraud are outlawed in electoral legislation, but others are in violation of general laws, such as those banning assault, harassment or libel. Although from a legal perspective the term "electoral fraud" covers only those acts which are illegal, the term is sometimes used to describe acts which are legal but nevertheless considered morally unacceptable, outside the spirit of electoral laws, or in violation of the principles of democracy. Show elections, in which only one candidate can win, are sometimes considered to be electoral fraud, although they may comply with the law.
Electoral fraud can occur at any stage in the democratic process, but most commonly it occurs during election campaigns, voter registration or during vote-counting. The two main types of electoral fraud are (1) preventing eligible voters from casting their vote freely (or from voting at all), and (2) altering the results.
Electoral fraud is not limited to political polls and can happen in any election where a cheater perceives the potential gain as worth the risk, as in elections for labor union officials, student councils, sports judging, and the awarding of merit to books, films, music or television programs.
Related term: voting fraud