Election Rigging and How to Fight It

Issue Date July 2006
Volume 17
Issue 3
Page Numbers 138-151
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Authoritarian regimes around the world hold elections, and manipulate them every step of the way. While electoral fraud and manipulation take a variety of forms, increasingly sophisticated methods are often employed before polling stations even open. Authoritarian regimes usually get away with rigging elections, but exposure of electoral fraud and manipulation erodes the legitimacy that authoritarian regimes seek to gain through the electoral process. In a few cases where attempts to rig elections were effectively documented, election observers dealt a heavy—if not decisive—blow to the legitimacy of authoritarian regimes.