Accepted Paper:

Using election administration "errors" to rig elections. The case of Ghana's 2012 polls  


George Ofosu (University of California, Los Angeles)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the strategic use of seemingly harmless breaches of election regulations at polling stations (malpractices) to commit election day fraud. It shows when election malpractices can be considered purposeful.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores an overlooked mechanism through which election fraud may occur at polling stations-through election malpractices. I argue that partisan election officials may use "simple" violations of electoral laws to perpetrate electoral fraud. Such acts often go undetected. This helps to explain the occurrence of fraud even at polling stations monitored by election observers. I use polling station level data collected during Ghana's 2012 general election to test my argument. I find that electoral malpractices are systematically correlated with fraud, and malpractices occur more frequently in competitive electoral districts. This suggests malpractices are often purposeful attempts to commit fraud.

Panel P034
The changing face of electoral manipulation in Africa