Latest Issue of Science News


Statistical tests suggestive of fraud in Iran’s election

A closer look at voter ballot data reveals suspicious anomalies

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.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.