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At What Point Does Public Corruption Affect an Election? 

December 2, 2023 Posted In Uncategorized

The United States successfully runs on a democracy. Therefore, the voting process is crucial for allowing citizens to hold government officials accountable, to ensure conflicts are channeled into agreeable resolutions, and to ensure that transfers of power occur peacefully. When voters feel that public corruption has inhibited democratic accountability, an election can be affected.

If you have been accused of public corruption, you may face backlash during an upcoming election. Voters who feel strongly about corruption often use elections as a way to punish corrupt officials or attempt to keep them out of office. Contact the fierce criminal defense team at Wallack Law today to discuss your public corruption allegations.

Do the Corruption Charges Matter?

An important factor to consider in elections affected by public corruption is the charges the candidates face. The majority of citizens would state that a corrupt politician should not be reelected for public office. History has proven that this may not be the case, depending on what is at risk of losing the candidate in office.

If the public official has done a great deal of good for their community, their name may not be completely tarnished by accusations of public corruption, racketeering, or white-collar crimes. Voters want to know that politicians are doing what they say they will when voted into public office. When their promises begin being broken, the public will have no problem voting them off for accusations of public corruption.

Types of Election Crimes

Various crimes can occur in public office during election times. The three main categories include campaign finance, civil rights violations, and ballot and voter fraud.

Campaign Finance

The campaign finance category entails any financial misuse or bribing, including:

  • Individual financial donations to federal candidates over $4,600,
  • A corporation donating corporate dollars to a federal candidate
  • A non-citizen giving money to local, state, or federal candidates.

Civil Rights Violations

Civil rights violations involve crimes against voters, including:

  • Threats against a voter with economic or physical harm if they do not vote in a particular way
  • Attempted prevention of a qualified voter from attending their polling station in a federal election
  • Scheming to prevent any minority group from voting

Ballot and Voter Fraud

Ballot and voter fraud entails crimes committed by voters or poll watchers, including:

  • A voter falsifying personal information when they register to vote
  • A voter casts more than one vote in a federal election
  • A voter is bribed with money or another item of value in exchange for registering to vote or placing a specific vote in a federal election
  • A public office is intentionally corrupted by an election official to benefit a party or candidate (e.g., allowing unqualified voters to cast ballots)

What Is Not a Voting Crime?

Though an accusation can be made, the following actions are not a crime:

  • Campaigning within a close vicinity of a polling station
  • Distributing non-factual campaign literature
  • Attempting to convince an opponent to drop from the race

Our Public Corruption Law Firm Can Help

If you have been accused of any type of election crimes, our dedicated criminal defense law firm is ready to fight for you. A tarnished name and ruined election can be devastating for your political career. Let the legal team at Wallack Law represent you. Contact us today using our secure online form to schedule your free evaluation.