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Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud tend to involve affecting vote counts to bring about a desired election outcome, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both. Exactly what constitutes electoral fraud under law varies from country to country; methods which are illegal in one country may not be in another. Many kinds of voter fraud are outlawed in specific electoral legislation, but others are in violation of more general laws such as those banning assault, harrassment or libel. Although technically the term 'electoral fraud' covers only those acts which are specifically illegal, the term is sometimes used to describe acts which, although legal, are considered to be morally unacceptable, outside the spirit of electoral laws or in violation of the principles of democracy. Show elections, in which only one candidate has a real chance of winning, are sometimes considered to be electoral fraud although they may comply fully with local laws.

Especially with national elections, successful electoral fraud can have the effect of a coup d'├ętat or corruption of democracy. In a narrow election a small amount of fraud may be enough to change the overall outcome. However even if the outcome is not affected fraud can still have a damaging effect if not punished, as it can reduce voters' confidence in democracy. Even the perception of fraud can be damaging as it makes people less inclined to accept the outcome of elections. In extreme cases this can lead to the breakdown of democracy and the establishment of a dictatorship.

Electoral fraud is not limited to political polls and can happen in any kind of election where the potential gain is worth the risk for the cheater, as in elections for labor union officials, student councils, sports judging, and the awarding of merit to books, films, music, or television programming.

Despite many known instances of electoral fraud, it remains a difficult phenomenon to study and characterize. This follows from its inherent illegality. Harsh penalties aimed at deterring electoral fraud make it likely that any individuals who perpetrate acts of fraud do so with the expectation that it either will not be discovered or will be excused after the fact.

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Genre:  Documentary
Release Date:  August 26, 2008
Runtime:  81 minutes
Studio:  The Disinformation Company
What's your opinion on Uncounted: The New Math of American Elec...?
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review by . November 09, 2010
Regardless of your politics, it's undeniable that national elections have become big business, and the greatest message presented by UNCOUNTED is that, arguably, a technology that accurately accepts, tabulates, and totals votes cast may yet be out of reach for the Great Society ... with the notable exception of good old-fashioned paper ballots ... and UNCOUNTED, a new documentary by David Earnhardt takes great strides through measured bipartisanship to present this possibly grim reality.   …
review by . October 08, 2009
I think drifter51 wrote an excellent review for this documentary - essentially, it's a hugely biased Republican-bashing attempt to show how the GOP has manipulated every election in recent times (presumably, they choose to lose the last one). This side of the film has some serious flaws and it's almost embarrassing to watch at times. I was waiting for the link to other conspiracy theories or how Elvis was behind 9/11.      But the broader question of voting techniques is one …
review by . January 14, 2009
Over the past several years I have read a number of books concerned with the fairness of elections in this nation.  It seems that people on all sides of the political spectrum are extremely suspicious of the process....and with good reason.  And so with all of this in mind I thought it might be interesting to take a look at David Earnhardt's award winning 2007 documentary "Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections".   What I had hoped would be a balanced and comprehensive …
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