Critiquing Syllygisms and Statistical Fallacies in the Claims about Massive Election Fraud in 2020

25 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2021

See all articles by Bernard Grofman

Bernard Grofman

University of California, Irvine - Department of Politics and Society

Jonathan Cervas

Carnegie Mellon University - Institute for Politics and Strategy

Date Written: February 21, 2021

Abstract

The amount that has been uttered/written about massive electoral fraud in the 2020 presidential election is immense, made even larger by the vast number of times the same gets repeated. Virtually all of the claims have been extensively fact checked by election officials, journalists, and academics, and the lies, half-truths, and occasional honest mistakes have been demolished -- though rebuttals largely fall on deaf ears. We see no need to go over this well-ploughed ground. Here we look at the most neglected aspect of the claims about election fraud -- claims based on actual facts, usually statistical features of the election, where the implications of these facts are completely misinterpreted. In particular, we look at what A Wuffle has labeled syllygisms, syllogistic arguments which are either fallacious in form, or which have at least one premise that is indubitably false even while another premise may be quite factual.

Keywords: voter fraud; elections

Suggested Citation

Grofman, Bernard and Cervas, Jonathan, Critiquing Syllygisms and Statistical Fallacies in the Claims about Massive Election Fraud in 2020 (February 21, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3794738 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3794738

Bernard Grofman

University of California, Irvine - Department of Politics and Society ( email )

Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States
(949) 824-6394, 5361 (Phone)

Jonathan Cervas (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - Institute for Politics and Strategy ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Posner Hall 3866
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

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