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Statistical tests suggestive of fraud in Iran’s election

A closer look at voter ballot data reveals suspicious anomalies

12:33pm, July 10, 2009

An American statistician says strong statistical evidence backs up the claims of Iranian protestors that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the June election was fraudulent.

Walter Mebane of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor analyzed Iranian election data and found anomalies strongly suggesting that ballot boxes were stuffed with extra votes for Ahmadinejad. Mebane also identified 81 towns where further investigations are likely to find evidence of fraud.

“This suggests that the actual outcome should have been pretty close,” says Mebane, who described his analysis on a paper posted on his website June 15 and updated June 29. The official results showed Ahmadinejad getting almost twice as many votes as his closest rival.

“His data is highly, highly, highly suggestive that something odd was going on,” says political scientist Henry Brady of the University of California, Berkeley. “Someone who really knows the geopoliti

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