Do Shifts in Late-Counted Votes Signal Fraud? Evidence From Bolivia
47 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 7, 2020
Surprising trends in late-counted votes can spark conflict. In Bolivia, electoral observers recently sounded alarms about trends in late-counted votes — with dramatic political consequences. We revisit the quantitative evidence, finding that (a) an apparent jump in the incumbent’s vote share was actually an artifact of the analysts’ error; (b) analysis of within-precinct variation mistakenly ignored a strong secular trend; and (c) nearly identical patterns appear in data from the previous election, which was not contested. In short, we examine the patterns that the observers deemed “inexplicable,” finding that we can explain them without invoking fraud.
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