Political Parties and Election Fraud
43 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2013 Last revised: 25 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 24, 2013
Autocrats face a dilemma. Continue with fraudulent electoral practices and risk revolt, or reduce fraud and risk losing elections. One solution is to structure electoral governance such that it allows for independence and professionalism at the center, lending credibility to the electoral process, and partisan local-level administration, enabling fraud at the micro level. Partisan poll workers can help deliver the vote by the use of ‘smart fraud’ – fraud that minimizes the risk of being caught and is used only when needed. In Armenia, the ruling party’s vote share, as a proportion of all registered voters, increases with 8.2 percent in polling stations where the chairperson was randomly assigned to the ruling party. Fraud forensics suggests that one of the mechanisms behind this was falsification of the results protocol during the count. I conjecture that fraud is only used in high-stakes elections and that election observers are unable to detect it.
Keywords: Principal-Agent Theory, Election Fraud, Electoral Administration, Experiments
JEL Classification: C93, D72, D73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation