July 15, 2024

Venezuela Voting Analysis

Avi Rubin, Adam Stubblefield, and I just released a paper analyzing the reported voting data from the recent Venezuelan election. The paper is available at http://www.venezuela-referendum.com, in both English and Spanish versions.

Here is the “Summary” section of (the English version of) the paper:

After the August 15 referendum in Venezuela on whether or not to recall president Ch


  1. Electronic voting is more susceptible to widespread fraud than less automated mechanisms. The fact that the opposition is highly suspicious of the outcome is due, in part, to the choice of electronic voting machines in a simple Yes/No election. While we did not find any statistical evidence for the claims of caps on the machines or other specific accusations of fraud, we are concerned that wide scale unobservable fraud is much easier to realize in electronic voting machines than in, for example, precinct based paper systems.

    This part of your conclusion seems not to be justified by any data. Do you really think that in a paper election, the losers would not be “highly suspicious” of the outcome? I can’t think of an election in a third world country using any technology where there have not been accusations (probably justified in most cases) of fraud.

    The part about electronic voting systems being more vulnerable to fraud is also questionable especially in the context of a third world country where voting fraud is a highly developed art with a hundred years of expertise available.