Electoral malpractices in simple terms “rigging” an election appears to be a thorn in the flesh of many democrats from different countries around the world. It constitutes a wide range of illicit, illegal and to some extent violent practices designed to influence the outcome of an election result. Most leaders involved in election malpractices consider their own personal interests at the expense of citizens. Such attempts to “steal” an election may be isolated or systematic.
While the array of tactics used to undermine electoral processes remain similar across the world, the use of violence is highly present in the Middle East and Africa. However, more developed democracies like the Americas and Western Europe have a tendency of manipulating resources. Despite the outcome, election malpractices must be dealt with as quickly as possible if we are to prevent its spread throughout the system of governance.
Electoral malpractices are classified into four categories:-
- Acts of deception like altering voter registers to falsifying the results.
- Acts of coercion which include intimidation and violence.
- Refusal of the sitting leaders to work in a wide range of areas. Some may even refuse to consider the electoral dispute adjudication claims.
- Acts of destruction that involves spoiling and stealing of ballot papers.
Citizens are usually the biggest losers regardless of the electoral malpractice taking place. This is because they have to deal with unpopular leaders who are only interested in safeguarding their wealth. Furthermore, they get to participate in elections whose outcome has already been decided.
Electoral malpractices have led to weakened economies especially when post-election violent sets in. This was highly evident in countries such as Kenya and Nigeria where various political rival followers burnt the countries down. Nations need to come together if they are to handle electoral malpractices. In this era, people have to make their own choices without worrying about the election results. Until this is done, nations will continue witnessing bloodshed whenever an election is held.