What is the difference between election fraud, electoral fraud and voter fraud? An example of usage for each word would be great.

  • "Election fraud": Someone, typically a candidate, cheated at an election. The dictator used threats and bribes to obtain fraudulent results.
  • "Electoral fraud": Election fraud in general. Electoral fraud undermines the democratic process.
  • "Voter fraud": One or more voters cheated. That fraud voted twice by pretending to be someone else!
  • 2
    This is not accurate. Voter fraud is a synonym of electoral fraud. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fraud
    – user13141
    Oct 25 '11 at 7:40
  • But what if it is only a voter who cheated? Like in this case: usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2011/07/29/… Election fraud sounds like the whole election was compromised. Oct 25 '11 at 7:55
  • An election is compromised if voters cheat.
    – user13141
    Oct 25 '11 at 8:30
  • 1
    Yet it would have to be statistically significant before it can sway the outcome, something that didn't even happen in the 2000 Florida vote. In any case, the obvious difference to me is that "voter fraud" refers to voters, whereas "election fraud" refers to the election, which is set up by the government. Oct 25 '11 at 15:14

There may simply be a transatlantic divide in the term used to describe dodgy proceedings at the polls. The Corpus of Contemporary American English records 54 instances of electoral fraud, 63 of election fraud and 154 of voter fraud. The equivalent figures in the British National Corpus are 24, 6 and 0. As a speaker of British English, I confess that my first thought was to say that electoral fraud was the normal term.

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