In the days after the US Presidential election was called for Joe Biden, many supporters of Donald Trump are crying foul. Voter fraud. And a key piece of evidence? A century-old quirk of math called Benford’s Law. We at Radiolab know Benford’s Law well, and have covered it before. In this political dispatch, Latif and Soren Sherlock their way through the precinct numbers to see if these claims hold up. Spoiler: they don’t. But the reason why is more interesting than you’d expect.
And they consulted an expert, who has published a paper on this miss-application:
Inappropriate Applications of Benford’s LawRegularities to Some Data from the 2020 PresidentialElection in the United States