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dc.contributor.authorTorres, David
dc.contributor.authorPericchi Guerra, Luis Raúl
dc.date.accessioned2015-11-21T21:27:57Z
dc.date.available2015-11-21T21:27:57Z
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2412
dc.description.abstractA simple and quick general test to screen for numerical anomalies is presented. It can be applied, for example, to electoral processes, both electronic and manual. It uses vote counts in officially published voting units, which are typically widely available and institutionally backed. The test examines the frequencies of digits on voting counts and rests on the First (NBL1) and Second Digit Newcomb–Benford Law (NBL2), and in a novel generalization of the law under restrictions of the maximum number of voters per unit (RNBL2). We apply the test to the 2004 USA presidential elections, the Puerto Rico (1996, 2000 and 2004) governor elections, the 2004 Venezuelan presidential recall referendum (RRP) and the previous 2000 Venezuelan Presidential election. The NBL2 is compellingly rejected only in the Venezuelan referendum and only for electronic voting units. Our original suggestion on the RRP (Pericchi and Torres, 2004) was criticized by The Carter Center report (2005). Acknowledging this, Mebane (2006) and The Economist (US) (2007) presented voting models and case studies in favor of NBL2. Further evidence is presented here. Moreover, under the RNBL2, Mebane’s voting models are valid under wider conditions. The adequacy of the law is assessed through Bayes Factors (and corrections of p-values) instead of significance testing, since for large sample sizes and fixed α levels the null hypothesis is over rejected. Our tests are extremely simple and can become a standard screening that a fair electoral process should pass.
dc.description.sponsorshipNSF Grants 0604896 and 0630927
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesStatistical Science, Vol. 26, No. 4;DOI: 10.1214/09-STS296
dc.subjectBayes Factors
dc.subjectelection forensics
dc.subjectNewcomb–Benford Second Digit Law 2BL
dc.subjectRestricted Newcomb–Benford Law
dc.subjectelectronic elections
dc.subjectp-value corrections
dc.subjectquick anomaly detection
dc.subjectuniversal lower bound
dc.titleQuick Anomaly Detection by the Newcomb–Benford Law, with Applications to Electoral Processes Data from the USA, Puerto Rico and Venezuela
dc.typeArticle


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