The corrupt use of the electoral process may serve various political ends, such as altering the electoral process so that the ruling party is always ensured of victory or, in a single party system, modifying the process so that the candidates most obedient to the party line are chosen. Alternatively, the ruling party may put off the election date until a favourable time for its own purposes, or arrange its policies in such a way that they are popular at election time. Candidates may be chosen and campaigns conducted in accordance with what the party feels will make it most popular or powerful. Manipulation of elections also includes corrupt practices such as manipulation of the ballot and bribery during electoral campaigns. It may equally include tactics such as referenda which give a distorted picture of public opinion. Gerrymandering includes the rearrangement of voting districts, or changing the number of people in such districts, by the party in power to ensure its victory in subsequent elections.
Election manipulation occurs most frequently at the lowest electoral levels, but it can also occur at national levels. Non-white citizens of South Africa were gerrymandered into 10 tribal homelands in 1981. Attempts at gerrymandering, according to opponents, were reported in England and Scotland in 1993, and in the USA in 1994.