Overview

Electoral fraud happens when someone has deliberately tried to cheat at an election. It could be that someone has:

  • pretended to be someone else and used their vote
  • made false statements about the personal character of a candidate
  • influenced someone to vote against their will

It is a serious and usually criminal issue, which undermines the democratic process.

Electoral fraud must be reported to the police or Crimestoppers.

Have you witnessed electoral fraud?

If you are reading this because you believe you have witnessed electoral fraud, or are concerned that it may be taking place, you must report it.

If you have evidence, you must report it to the police.

If you are simply concerned that either best practice is not being followed, or that illegal activities have taken place, you should contact the Electoral Registration Officer or Returning Officer for your local area.

They are responsible for running the election or referendum and will have plans in place to identify suspicious behaviour.

Report electoral fraud

If you have evidence that electoral fraud has taken place, contact the police on 101.

If a crime is taking place now, call 999.

You can also report the crime anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

What we're doing

We work closely with these organisations to prevent, detect, and take action against electoral fraud:

  • political parties and campaigners
  • local authorities
  • police
  • prosecuting authorities
  • Royal Mail

We produce guidance for people involved in an election or referendum. This guidance helps everyone to follow best practice and stay within the law.

Last updated: 16 September 2019
Next review: 22 July 2020