The articles for today’s class demonstrate the nefarious ways in which candidates can skew election results in their favor. Gist explores the Adams County fraud case, in which votes were openly bought and sold. Early 1900’s Kentucky saw similar voting fraud, as state representative Arthur Wallace manipulated the secret voting method and engaged in violence, intimidation, and voting delays to ensure votes did not go to the opposition party. Finally, the Shapiro article explores the case of Matthew Weaver, the university student who used keyloggers to steal university login information from public computers in order to cast votes for himself in the upcoming (profitable!) class president election. Thus, we see clear instances of both the suppression and addition types of voting fraud.
The question posed by the prompt for today is an interesting one. While it feels wrong to say conclusively which method of voting fraud is worse, I get the impression that suppressing vote totals for opponents is slightly more harmful than increasing the amount of votes overall. Fraud that actively takes away votes from a candidate (through any one of the repertoire of methods exercised by Arthur Wallace and his goons) seems to diminish the most basic and sacred elements of elections. Rerouting a vote would completely do away with the competitive aspect of elections, as one cannot have an election without competition. On the other hand, while inflating the overall vote totals does not take away votes from the opposition party, it does still cast false votes towards the corrupt party. This is a difficult question to answer, as both are detrimental to the full realization of the democratic voting system.