Media headlines often focus on problems occurring on polling day in the voting process and ballot count, such as voter fraud, ballot-stuffing, or insecure ballot boxes. In fact, however, campaign finance and campaign media coverage are the two weakest links in the electoral cycle.
Money in politics is a concern in many developing countries, such as India, as well as in many affluent societies, such as the United States. Inadequate regulation of money in politics can worsen corruption, the abuse of state resources, and vote-buying, reducing public confidence in elections, and failing to ensure a level playing field for all parties and candidates.
Note: All components are standardized and scored from worst (0) to best (100). Source: Electoral Integrity Project. 2016. The expert survey of Perceptions of Electoral Integrity, Release 4 (PEI-4.0)
Contrary to much attention by journalists and scholars, the end-stages of the electoral cycle were assessed by experts as the least problematic stage, including the process of vote count, electoral procedures, and the announcement of the final results.