Do Shifts in Late-Counted Votes Signal Fraud? Evidence From Bolivia

48 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020 Last revised: 10 Aug 2020

See all articles by Nicolás Idrobo

Nicolás Idrobo

University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts & Sciences, Department of Political Science, Students

Dorothy Kronick

University of Pennsylvania

Francisco Rodríguez

Tulane University

Date Written: June 7, 2020

Abstract

Surprising trends in late-counted votes can spark conflict. When late-counted votes led to a narrow incumbent victory in Bolivia last year, fraud accusations followed— with dramatic political consequences. We study the pro-incumbent shift in vote share as the tally progressed, finding that we can explain it without invoking fraud. Two observable characteristics, rurality and region, account for most of the trend. And what looked like a discontinuous jump in the incumbent’s vote share—presented as evidence of foul play—was actually an artifact of the analyst’s error. Our findings underscore the importance of documenting innocuous explanations for differences between early- and late-counted votes.

Suggested Citation

Idrobo, Nicolás and Kronick, Dorothy and Rodríguez, Francisco, Do Shifts in Late-Counted Votes Signal Fraud? Evidence From Bolivia (June 7, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3621475

Nicolás Idrobo

University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts & Sciences, Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

Stiteler Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/idrobo/home

Dorothy Kronick (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Francisco Rodríguez

Tulane University ( email )

1440 Canal St.
NEW ORLEANS, LA 70112

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