My understanding is that votes are more likely to be bought (all other things equal) under the following two conditions:

  1. Apathy. Voters don't know, or care, who the choices are. This is not a situation where almost everyone is either for one candidate/party or the other.
  2. Poverty. Poor farm or city dwellers are more easily bribed than rich, educated suburbanites.

Are these the main pre-conditions for political bribery, or are there others I've overlooked?

And how might such bribery take place? Is it often the case where one party will distribute "turkeys and hams" in poor neighborhoods, together with flyers asking people to vote for their candidate(s)? Or is it more subtle, perhaps consisting of promises to build recreational facilities/shopping malls/colosseums in select districts?

  • Are you talking about literal vote-buying - i.e. "I will give you a thousand dollars if you vote for me" or the more metaphorical kind where a candidate induces people to vote for them with policies that benefit them financially? – DJClayworth Dec 9 '13 at 17:12
  • @DJClayworth: I'm talking about any kind of vote-buying that one may reasonably label "corrupt." This is a "corruption" question at its heart. – Tom Au Dec 10 '13 at 1:11
  • Both of those could be considered corruption. Which one do you mean? – DJClayworth Dec 10 '13 at 1:32
  • @DJClayworth: Either or both. – Tom Au Dec 10 '13 at 1:32
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    Poor peoples votes do not really get bought. The votes that get bought are the people who work in washington and are one of the few people who get to cast the deciding vote on legislation... Like the Cornhusker kickback. – SoylentGray Dec 13 '13 at 21:55

In African and particularly in my community votes are usually bought by corrupt politicians by giving out hand-outs during campaign periods to the illiterate lot who don't know the benefits of leadership or a certain political position. A perfect case is Samburu Couty in Kenya where literacy rate is staggering at 75%.

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