Why populism is a threat to electoral integrity

Since the earthquake of Brexit in June last year, and Trump’s victory four months later, the news has been dominated by stories about populism, including whether European elections suggest that populist support is either rising or stalled.

The media has also been fascinated simultaneously by problems of electoral integrity. This includes Trump’s repeated claims of millions of fraudulent votes cast for Clinton, leading him to establish the new Presidential Advisory Commission on Electoral Integrity. Problems of cyber security continue to be investigated by the U.S. Congress following intelligence reports of Russian interference in the U.S. elections.

A coincidence? I don’t think so. A new Harvard report suggests that populists typically heighten risks of electoral malpractices through three main mechanisms: damaging public trust in democratic processes, undermining international standards of electoral integrity, and colluding with Russian interference in Western contests. CONT.

Pippa Norris (Harvard), LSE USAPP