Essay:Voting fraud

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Voting fraud is the use of certain illegal methods, such as ballot box stuffing and graveyard voting, to affect the outcome of an election. It is, arguably, rather ironic that the U.S. Republican Party has made a major issue of voter fraud and called for voter identification requirements, while at the same time filing frivolous challenges to 2012 U.S. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson's ballot access in Pennsylvania, after Johnson had turned in 49,000 signatures, more than twice the required 20,601.[1] In Michigan, the Republican Secretary of State delayed rendering her decision on Libertarian ballot access for three months, until it was too late to challenge it in time to get Johnson's name printed on ballots. Such actions cast doubt on how interested the Republican Party actually is in ensuring that the elections are free and fair, as a superordinate goal above winning the election for Republicans. Of course, if candidates were bound by the same contract law that applies to private sector transactions, Republicans could also be considered fraudulent for promising to govern in a fiscally conservative manner and then going back on their word.

Despite the fact that current laws generally put few impediments in the way of people who might wish to fraudulently misidentify themselves at the polls, the actual voter fraud rate is believed to be low. This may be because the average voter has little incentive to risk a felony conviction just to cast an extra vote. Indeed, there is little incentive for an eligible citizen to cast even the one vote to which he is entitled, given the opportunity costs and the slim chance of affecting the outcome.