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Klimek, P, Yegorov, Y, Hanel, R and Thurner, S (2012)

Statistical detection of systematic election irregularities

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science October 109(41), pp. 16469-16473.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1210722109



Abstract: Democratic societies are built around the principle of free and fair elections, and that each citizenís vote should count equally. National elections can be regarded as large-scale social experiments, where people are grouped into usually large numbers of electoral districts and vote according to their preferences. The large number of samples implies statistical consequences for the polling results, which can be used to identify election irregularities. Using a suitable data representation, we find that vote distributions of elections with alleged fraud show a kurtosis substantially exceeding the kurtosis of normal elections, depending on the level of data aggregation. As an example, we show that reported irregularities in recent Russian elections are, indeed, well-explained by systematic ballot stuffing. We develop a parametric model quantifying the extent to which fraudulent mechanisms are present. We formulate a parametric test detecting these statistical properties in election results. Remarkably, this technique produces robust outcomes with respect to the resolution of the data and therefore, allows for cross-country comparisons.


Bibtex:
@article {, author = {Klimek, Peter and Yegorov, Yuri and Hanel, Rudolf and Thurner, Stefan}, title = {Statistical detection of systematic election irregularities}, volume = {109}, number = {41}, pages = {16469--16473}, year = {2012}, doi = {10.1073/pnas.1210722109}, issn = {0027-8424}, URL = {https://www.pnas.org/content/109/41/16469}, eprint = {https://www.pnas.org/content/109/41/16469.full.pdf}, journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences} }


Reference Type: Journal Article

Subject Area(s): Voting Fraud