With the 2020 elections marred by legal challenges and fraud allegations, some have used statistical analysis to try to determine if foul play was involved. In several states, analyses of election data indeed show statistically odd phenomena in the tallies of votes for the Democratic candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.
One of the most common arguments is that in some localities, vote counts for Biden violate Benford's Law.
While the results in Georgia and Florida generally adhered to Benford’s Law, there were significant deviations in votes for Biden in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
Mebane acknowledged some anomalies in the data, but cautioned against using the first digit analysis on election results.
Analyzing the Chicago results, he didn't find any anomalies. "The first-digit distribution has nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of election fraud," he said.
Using the Election Forensics Toolkit he co-authored in 2015, he went through the results in Milwaukee and Allegheny County without finding anything out of the ordinary.
He did find some anomalies in Fulton County, but called them "probably benign."
One indicator for Democrat votes in the county "might be a concern," he said, but added that the indicator "nearly" exceeded the expected value for Republican votes too.
He also used a variant of the Benford's Law that applies to second digits.
In Milwaukee, the analysis showed an anomaly in the Trump votes, which was, however, "perfectly compatible with nonstrategic votes," he said.
The Biden vote counts were also anomalous and in a way that "is harder to explain," he said.
"But it matches results observed in some German elections ... that are generally not considered to be problematic."
Milwaukee's county clerk didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment regarding the discrepancy. Wisconsin is headed for a recount, showing Biden slightly ahead.
Then, around 9 a.m. on Nov. 6, more than 27,000 votes were added to the count, nearly all of them to Biden, he said.
The office of Pennsylvania Secretary of State didn’t immediately respond to questions about the anomalies. While Biden is ahead in the state, Trump has challenged the results in court.
The tally in Michigan, where Biden is ahead by a small margin, also seems to be statistically peculiar.
Around 5 a.m. on Nov. 4, data firm Decision Desk HQ updated the vote count for Michigan, adding 138,339 votes to Biden, but zero to Trump. The statistical impossibility of such a scenario prompted people to speculate that votes were illegally injected into the tally.
At 5:54 a.m. and 6:05 a.m., the firm posted two more updates for the Michigan race that didn’t appear to show anything unusual.
One explanation could be that those votes came from a deep-blue county and only included absentee ballots, which were expected to heavily favor Democrats.
A spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State didn’t respond to questions about these votes.