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

Abstract

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

Lott, John R., A Simple Test for the Extent of Vote Fraud with Absentee Ballots in the 2020 Presidential Election: Georgia and Pennsylvania Data (December 21, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3756988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3756988

John R. Lott (Contact Author)

US Department of Justice ( email )

Washington, DC 20531
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
51,086
Abstract Views
310,458
rank
24
PlumX Metrics