Electoral fraud, election manipulation, or vote rigging is illegal interference with the process of an election, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both. What constitutes electoral fraud varies from country to country.
Many kinds of election fraud are outlawed in electoral legislation, but others are in violation of general laws, such as those banning assault, harassment or libel. Although technically the term 'electoral fraud' covers only those acts which are illegal, the term is sometimes used to describe acts which are legal, but considered morally unacceptable, outside the spirit of an election or in violation of the principles of democracy. Show elections, in which there is only one candidate, are sometimes classified as electoral fraud, although they may comply with the law and are presented more as referendums.
In national elections, successful electoral fraud can have the effect of a coup d'état or corruption of democracy. In a narrow election, a small amount of fraud may be enough to change the result. Even if the outcome is not affected, revelation of fraud can have a damaging effect, if not punished, as it can reduce voters' confidence in democracy.
Corruption costs Italy a reported €60 billion a year, which amount to four percent of its GDP. On the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index, Italy took 61st place out of 174 countries, scoring on a par with Senegal, Montenegro, and South Africa. Political corruption remains a major problem particularly in Southern Italy including Calabria, parts of Campania and Sicily where corruption perception is at a high level. Political parties are ranked the most corrupt institution in Italy, closely followed by public officials and Parliament, according to Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer 2013.
Political corruption remains a major problem particularly in Southern Italy including Calabria, parts of Campania and Sicily where corruption perception is at a high level. Political parties are ranked the most corrupt institution in Italy, closely followed by public officials and Parliament, according to Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer 2013.