Elections are essential elements of
democratic systems. Unfortunately, abuse and manipulation (including voter
intimidation, vote buying or ballot stuffing) can distort these processes.
However, little attention has been paid to an intrinsic part of this threat:
the conditions and opportunities for criminal interference in the electoral
process. Most worrying, few scholars have examined the underlying conditions
that make elections vulnerable to organized criminal involvement.
This report addresses these gaps in
knowledge by analysing the vulnerabilities of electoral processes to illicit
interference (above all by organized crime). It suggests how national and
international authorities might better protect these crucial and coveted
elements of the democratic process. Case studies from Georgia, Mali and Mexico
illustrate these challenges and provide insights into potential ways to prevent
and mitigate the effects of organized crime on elections.