Statistical Evidence of Russian Electoral Fraud?

On December 8, 2007, in General, by Neil Stevens

Via Slashdot Science I found this article summarizing analyses of the latest Russian election. If this is even news, then clearly someone came up with some signs of fraud, and it shouldn’t be any surprise which political party got the benefits of this alleged fraud…

The most striking image plots the percentage of the vote each party got in various districts against the turnout in that district.

Russian turnout and party support

Most parties have a slightly negative correlation, but one party has a correlation of 0.9: United Russia, Vladimir Putin’s party.

Combined with this, one finds out precisely how this fraud took place, too, when one looks at this next chart, plotting turnout rate against the rate of invalid ballots, a plot which interestingly slopes downward, when we have no reason to believe that fewer people will make voting errors in districts with higher turnout:

Russian turnout and party support

(Chart by Joseph Petviashvili)

If all this is true, it’s hard to believe that something odd didn’t happen. When the United Russia operatives were generating ballots and injecting them into the system, they forgot to find out what the standard invalid ballot rate was and duplicate that!

Russia’s election was likely illegitimate. I now join the calls for US policy with respect to Russia to be adjusted accordingly.

Update: Isn’t it interesting that in this region found by a commenter on Petviashvili’s site (don’t ask me its name; I don’t read Russian), 17,779 people voted, and every single one of them was for United Russia?


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