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Is Voter Fraud a Crime?

Is Voter Fraud a Crime?

Florida is the frontrunner of a movement to “crack down” on voter fraud. Nevada’s legislature is warming up to the idea, which could mean potential restrictions and even criminalization of voter fraud, so how bad is it to cheat during an election and where could this national debate lead?

What Is Voter Fraud?

Voter fraud is the act of manipulating election results, rigging votes, and obstructing the right to vote during a free election. This can happen any number of ways whether it is stealing votes from the precinct or using deceased people’s identities to submit extra votes.

Other types of electoral fraud include:

  • Ballot stuffing: casting illegal votes or submitting multiple ballots as one voter
  • Voter suppression: tactics used to lower or suppress key voter categories in certain areas
  • Felon voter fraud: Some states revoke voting rights from convicted felons and if a felon casts their vote, it could be considered electoral fraud
  • Vote buying: paying voters to vote for one party over the other
  • Fraud by election officials: manipulation of the electoral process or ballots by election administrators
  • Voter registration fraud: using a false identity to complete and submit a ballot

The criminality of these cases is complex, but in some situations, like with felon voter fraud, the punishment is clear. Not only is felon voter fraud an issue, but it could also be considered a violation of probation which could result in serious penalties like jail time or other charges.

Electoral fraud in the form of voter suppression is harder to prove, and often involves representatives and national leaders who play a primary role. In many cases, these individuals are untouchable so someone of lesser status takes the fall.

Regardless of how voter fraud takes place, it is far more complicated than it seems and there are many factors that contribute to fraudulent behavior.


When a person or group has an agenda, they are determined to see their goals realized no matter the cost. This is one of the main reasons why voters may commit electoral fraud. With millions of people voting in every election who come from a plethora of backgrounds, it is not always possible to predict the result of an election.

While polls help to test the waters of public opinion, in many cases, they miss the mark and when people have an agenda with no evidence to support their success, they may take matters into their own hands. Committing voter fraud, is to some people, what cheating on a test is for students. It may seem like a good idea to cheat in the moment, but odds are, you could be cheating on the wrong person and fail the test anyways. The same is true for those who commit voter fraud – it is more likely to blow up in their faces.


While prejudice is a motivating factor behind many agendas in the political world or otherwise, as a separate entity, it is a powerful force during an election. Prejudice can affect an election on many levels from the constituents to the lawmakers themselves.

Voter suppression is a prime example. Suppression can happen any number of ways, but the most common is using redistricting and strict voting rules. Most Americans are endlessly busy with work, school, children, and anything else life decides to throw at them. If a lawmaker were to pass a law that shuts down voting precincts before 3 o’clock it could eliminate most of the voter pool. Voters would have to make arrangements to vote before or during work instead of doing so on the way home. Understandably, most people may decide to not exercise their right to vote if it becomes a logistical nightmare.

Penalties for Electoral Fraud

States have their own penalties and guidelines for voting and depending on the election, fraud could fall under federal law. In Nevada, voter fraud could be charged as a felony offense punishable by prison time and fines. At the federal level, campaign finance crimes, civil rights violations, and voter fraud are all punishable by fines and no more than five years in a federal prison.

It’s important to note that while voter fraud is rare, it is a serious offence that could have long lasting consequences. Like other criminal accusations, voter fraud charges have the potential to ruin future opportunities and complicate your future.

If you have been accused of a crime in Nevada, contact The Draskovich Law Group today.


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