Electoral Malpractices

                  JSS 2 CIVIC EDUCATION
                   WEEK 7
   Electoral malpractices can be defined as an illegal interference with electoral process. It is also known as electoral fraud or voters' fraud. It is an illegal behaviour during electoral process. It occurs when the electoral officials and the politicians fail to conduct the elections properly resulting into litigations in the court of law.

i. UNDERAGE VOTING: This is the act of allowing people below the specified voting age to vote in an election.
ii. MULTIPLE VOTING: This occur when people cast their votes in several polling centres using impersonated voter’s card in order to influence the votes of their candidates or parties.
iii. FAKE MANIFESTOES: They may give fake manifestoes to woo voters to their side. At the end of elections these promises will not be fulfilled.
iv. MIS- RECORDING OF VOTES: This normally happens to people who need assistance of others for voting e.g, the blind or illeterate electorates. Those assisting them may lead them to voter for wrong candidates.
v. FINANCIAL INDUCEMENT: This is the act of offering bribe and valuable items to electoral officials so as to influence and manipulate election results.
vi. DESTRUCTION OR INVALIDATION OF BALLOTS: Electoral malpractice can be in form of deliberate destruction of ballot papers of a particular party or candidates. This will alter the election results and may favour another party that should have lost ordinarily.
vii. MISINFORMATION: This is a situation where people distribute false and misleading information in order to affect the outcome of election. It could be in form of false rumours made against a party or it’s candidates.
viii. Provision of fake documents by the contesting parties and candidates.

  1. CRAVE FOR POWER: Many politicians engage in electoral malpractice because they want political power at all cost. Unfortunately, such people do not perform when they ‘ win’ the election but rather engage in looting the government treasury.
  2. LACK OF POLITICAL EDUCATION: Many electorates are easily deceived by politicians because they are ignorant of their rights and responsibilities during election. Politicians play on the ignorance of the electorates to manipulate the election.
  3. LATE ARRIVAL OF MATERIALS AT VOTING CENTRES: This will cause lateness in voting and if voting extends in to the night, it will be a easy for unpatriotic elements to penetrate all kinds of electoral malpractices.
  4. BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION: Some electoral officials do connive with politicians to manipulate election. Once the politicians have bribed them with money, they tend to overloo whatever is happening to the ballot boxes and the ballot papers.
  5. DISHONESTY: Dishonest practices during the elections such as the provision for and use of fake ballot boxes and papers as well as hijacking of materials to unauthorised places with the support of a few electoral officers and security agents have been common.
  6. INADEQUATE PLANNING: If the electoral body does not prepare adequately for the elections they will create opportunity for electoral malpractices.
  7. INFLUENCE OF THE PARTY IN POWER: There are times when the party in power indirectly dictates to the electoral Commission. There could be ‘order from above’ to upturn results of election to favour the candidates of the party in power.