Radiolab
Radiolab
Nov 13, 2020
Breaking Benford
Play • 30 min

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.

This episode was reported by Latif Nasser. 

Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.    

Links: 

Walter Mebane, “Inappropriate Applications of Benford’s Law Regularities to Some Data from the 2020 Presidential Election in the United States”

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