What are the electoral crimes?

Electoral crimes are the deliberate operations, actions, omissions or oversights that affect or put at risk the proper and correct development of an electoral act or event. From its planning to its execution, and that transgress the vote and its conditions, such as being free, universal, direct, secret, personal and non-transferable.

Electoral crimes are related to the unlawful intention to alter an electoral process, either through the cancellation, impediment or modification of the original results that involve increasing or decreasing the number of votes in favor or against a candidate.

Each country has criminalized electoral crimes in accordance with its own laws and codes, However, the most widely used and well-known electoral crimes are universal, such as vote buying, the use of public resources for the campaign, transferring voters to the voting centers and urging them to choose a specific candidate.

Who commit electoral crimes?

Practically anyone can commit electoral crime, from the moment he tries to convince another to choose the candidate of his choice. However, it is generally public officials and groups linked to power who are closest to committing electoral crimes.

Voter Crimes

  • When it damages, deteriorates, breaks or damages electoral material.
  • When assaults electoral officials or does not comply with established standards for an electoral event.
  • By doing disregarding voting conditions, and engaging in and promoting behaviors that alter the peace and harmony of the elections.
  • At thave more than one voting card.
  • Pressuring or threatening another to attend political events, to vote or to abstain from electing a candidate, either during election day or in the days prior to the elections.
  • When alter or skip the steps you must take to cast your vote.
  • When use social benefits and programs as a blackmail and threat mechanism to force someone to vote by one candidate or stop supporting another.
  • If you order or request any evidence of the vote, which violates the secret of it.
  • To the illegally obtain, alter, destroy, supply or illegally trade equipment or supplies for the elaboration of accreditations to vote.

Crimes committed by public servants

  • Coerce or threaten your staff to be part of campaign proselytizing acts, or to vote or to abstain from voting for a political party or a candidate.
  • Condition the provision of any public service, the fulfillment of their functions, execution of programs, etc., to the casting of the vote for or against a party, candidate or coalition, or promote the abstention of the vote.
  • Allocate, use or authorize the use of resources, financial or otherwise, in favor of a candidate, incurring embezzlement of use.
  • In your working hours give support, offer some service to a political party, pre-candidate, candidate or political group, whether he performs it in a personal capacity through his subordinate personnel.
  • Request money contributions from your subordinates, by any means, to support a party, candidate, or candidate.

Election Official Crimes

  • By failing to comply with the legal norms implemented for the formation, conservation and display to the citizens of the electoral roll.
  • By altering in any way, destroying, substituting, trading or making any illegal use of information and documents related to the electoral roll or any material intended for the elections.
  • When does not comply with the obligations and commitments of his position harming the electoral process.
  • Hindering the normal development of the election.
  • When alter by any means or in any way the result of the voting act, as well as destroying or altering documents, ballots or electoral material.
  • When exercising pressure or coercion on voters to exercise or abstain from voting.
  • When toopens or closes a polling place outside the established times or install it in a place that is not officially identified.
  • When prevent the presence of internal or external witnesses or observers.
  • To theprove that a person votes by being aware that they do not meet the requirements required by law, or that more ballots be included in the polls.
  • Spreading false information about the electoral event without being authorized.

Techniques used to take advantage of an electoral event

exist internationally known techniques and that are used to commit electoral crimes, such as:

  • Impersonation of the electorate, which consists of a person taking the place of another to vote, such as, for example, taking the place of a person who has died.
  • Pressure the voter to violate his right to vote, or to choose the candidate of his choice.
  • Transfer voters to the voting booths on the condition that they vote for a specific candidate.
  • Buy votes.
  • Alter the minutes, books and reports by changing the original results.
  • They are also considered electoral crimes the well-known ballot box pregnancies: that suppose the introduction in the ballot boxes of ballots already voted to alter the results of the voting.
  • Intervene in the counting and computing systems online to mislead public opinion.
  • Manipulate and alter results electronically.
  • Bribe people that count, count and total the votes.
  • Hide evidence of fraud.
  • Favoring a political party or candidate through government intervention.
  • Control the media to mislead and confuse voters.
  • Hoard the media and information in favor of power groups, of a party or a candidate.
  • Use public force to attack or repress those who are not satisfied with the results.
  • Manipulate the systems for counting or counting the final votes.
  • Forge signatures of people who do not attend the voting making believe that they attended and skewing the intention of the vote.

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