75 Fla. L. Rev. 741 (2023)
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By means of the U.S. election system, democracy in America is under attack—from within. If action is not taken, the public’s trust in elections will plummet to the lowest point in the history of this country. This Note brings to light a little-known political trick: sham political candidates. Political operatives place sham candidates on the ballot to siphon votes from opposing candidates. And the most shocking fact of it all is that it is completely legal. This Note identifies how sham candidates have impacted the modern election, while also examining the history of U.S. elections and election laws. This Note proceeds by demonstrating how the current law is inadequate to protect the integrity of elections from sham candidates and identifies some key characteristics of a sham candidacy. It continues to propose a new statutory framework to be enacted—including an analysis of procedural vehicles in which to effectuate this change—to close the loophole that political operatives use to successfully employ sham candidates. Finally, this Note rebuts procedural and substantive objections to the statute and evaluates its success. Most notably, this Note calls on legislators across America to fix this nation’s electoral system before it is too late.