A Simple Test for the Extent of Vote Fraud with Absentee Ballots in the 2020 Presidential Election: Georgia and Pennsylvania Data
25 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2020 Last revised: 11 Jan 2021
Date Written: December 21, 2020
This study provides two methods to measure vote fraud in the 2020 presidential election, though they provide varying degrees of evidence for fraud. To try isolating the impact of a county’s vote-counting process and the potential fraud, I first compare voting precincts in a county with alleged fraud to adjacent similar precincts in neighboring counties with no allegations of fraud. In measuring the difference in President Trump’s vote share of the absentee ballots for these adjacent precincts, we account for the difference in his vote share of the in-person voting and the difference in registered voters’ demographics. I compare data for the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. There is some weak but inconsistent evidence of vote fraud for Georgia and Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the evidence is strongest for the provisional ballots. Voters were allowed to correct defects in absentee ballots using a provisional ballot on Election day – implying an additional 6,700 votes for Biden.
Second, vote fraud can increase voter turnout rate. Increased fraud can take many forms: higher rates of filling out absentee ballots for people who hadn’t voted, dead people voting, ineligible people voting, or even payments to legally registered people for their votes. However, the increase might not be as large as the fraud if votes for opposing candidates are either lost, destroyed, or replaced with ballots filled out for the other candidate. The estimates here indicate that there were 70,000 to 79,000 “excess” votes in Georgia and Pennsylvania. Adding Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin, the total increases to up to 289,000 excess votes.
Keywords: Vote Fraud, absentee ballots, voter turnout rate
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation