American Government and Politics

State Voting Restrictions and State Fraud Cases



The research tests whether more restrictive election laws reduce incidents of election cheating. Using a “cost of voting index,” with state-specific values, as a proxy for a more restrictive electoral-institutional climate, and incidents of fraud culled from the Heritage Foundation website, the research looks for a match. Importantly, there are many different types of fraud to consider. Specifically, the research distinguishes two broad categories. To avoid duplicitous election outcomes, it is important to understand the distinct threats that different types of fraud entail and the research provides a theoretical discussion of the dissimilarities. Empirically, the research does not find a negative relationship between voting restrictions and either category of fraud. In other words, there is not more Voter or Election Fraud reported, where voting is easier.


Thumbnail image of Schraufnagel Paper-SPPC 2022.pdf

Supplementary weblinks

Cost of Voting Index
Values of the Cost of Voting Index available here.


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