Election fraud

Your vote is yours alone. Whether you vote at a polling station, by post, or via a proxy, it’s your decision.

It’s illegal for anyone, even a partner, family member or friend, to influence you to vote against your will.

What is electoral fraud?

Electoral fraud can take many different forms, including:

Undue Influence

No one is allowed to intimidate you into voting a certain way, such as by threatening you with injury, damage or harm.


It’s illegal to offer bribes such as money or gifts, directly or indirectly, to persuade you to vote a certain way or not to vote at all.


No one is allowed to pretend to be you in order to use your vote, whether it’s a postal vote or at the polling station. In addition, no one is allowed to vote by pretending to be someone who has died or is completely fictional.

Applying for a vote under false pretences

It’s illegal to apply for a proxy, or postal vote, using false details or under false pretences.

Asking you to show your completed ballot paper

It is an offence for someone to directly or indirectly persuade you to display your ballot paper after you have completed it so they can see who you have voted for.

Other types of electoral fraud

Voting twice in the same election

It is illegal to vote twice in the same election, unless you are:

  • Voting for both yourself and as a proxy for another person, if formally appointed to cast their vote.
  • Voting in more than one local authority election if you live and are registered to vote in more than one local authority.


It is illegal to tamper, remove or amend ballot papers and postal ballot packs.

Read more about electoral fraud

Can you vote on behalf of a friend? Is it illegal to accept bribes or incentives to vote a certain way?

The Electoral Commission's blog Your vote is yours - and yours alone answers your questions and outlines the facts.

Seen electoral fraud?

If someone tries to take the vote of anyone you know, call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online, 100% anonymously.

Please note: If you fill out the online form, please select 'Fraud' as the crime type and then type 'Electoral Fraud' in the free text box on question 1.

Electoral fraud resources: Your vote is yours alone