Election Law Violations

By Hallmark, Sara Albert | American Criminal Law Review, Spring 2011 | Go to article overview
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Election Law Violations


Hallmark, Sara Albert, American Criminal Law Review


   I. INTRODUCTION

 II. CAMPAIGN FINANCE CRIMES
     A. Introduction
        1. History of the Federal Election Campaign Reform Act
        2. Introduction of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
        3. Free Speech Challenges to FECA/BCRA
           a. Recent Successful Challenges
                i. Electioneering Communications
               ii. Making, and Soliciting Money to Make, Independent
                   Expenditures
           b. Recent Unsuccessful Challenges
                i. Disclosure Requirements
               ii. Coordinated Contributions and Party
                   Expenditure Limits
     B. FECA/BCRA-Covered Statutes
        1. Limitations on Contributions and Expenditures
        2. Contributions or Expenditures by National Banks,
           Corporations, or Labor Organizations
        3. Contributions by Government Contractors
        4. Contributions and Donations by Foreign Nationals
        5. Contributions in Name of Another Prohibited
        6. Limitation on Contribution of Currency
        7. Fraudulent Misrepresentation of Campaign Authority
        8. Soft Money of Political Parties
        9. Prohibition on Conversion of Campaign Funds
     C. General Issues Pertaining to Criminal Prosecution
        1. Jurisdiction
        2. Criminal Prosecution
        3. Sentencing

III. ELECTION FRAUD
     A. Introduction
        1. Background
        2. Jurisdiction
        3. Prosecutorial Initiatives
        4. Investigations
     B. Election Fraud Statutes
        1. Voter Interference Statutes
           a. Conspiracy Against Rights
                i. Background
               ii. Scope
                     I. Public Schemes
                    II. Private Schemes
              iii. Penalties
           b. Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law
                i. Scope
               ii. Penalties
           c. Voter Intimidation Statutes
               i. Intimidation in Voting and Registering
                     I. Background
                    II. Scope
                   III. Penalties
               ii. Voter Intimidation
                     I. Background
                    II. Scope
                   III. Penalties
              iii. Federally Protected Activities
                     I. Background
                    II. Scope
                   III. Penalties
               iv. Troops at Polls
                     I. Scope
                    II. Penalties
        2. Voter Fraud Statutes
           a. False Information in Registering or Voting
                i. Background
               ii. Scope
                     I. Furnishing False Information to an
                        Election Official
                    II. Conspiracies to Encourage Illegal Voting
                   III. Commercialization of the Vote
              iii. Penalties
           b. Fraudulent Registration or Voting
                i. Background
               ii. Scope
                     I. Fraudulent Registration
                    II. Fraudulent Voting
              iii. Penalties
           c. Voting More than Once
                i. Scope
               ii. Penalties
           d. False Citizenship Claims to Register or Vote
                i. Background
               ii. Scope
              iii. Penalties
           e. Voting by Aliens
                i. Scope
               ii. Penalties
        3. Alternative Avenues of Prosecution
           a. Travel Act
           b. Mail Fraud
                i. Background
               ii. Theories of Mail Fraud
                     I. Salary Theory
                    II. "Honest Services" Fraud
              iii. Penalties

I. INTRODUCTION

Congress has the power to enact statutes to prevent and punish election law violations by public officials, candidates, and other political actors. (1) Statutes discussed in this Article may contain overlapping civil, criminal, and administrative penalty provisions.

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