Rise and Flaw of Internet's Election-Fraud Hunters

Protesters on the streets of Tehran questioning the recent Iranian presidential election results have gotten support from a new breed of election watchers: Internet-enabled anomaly hounds who say the numbers don’t add up.

Fraud hunters are no newer to elections than conspiracy theorists are to the Internet. But unlike election monitors seeking voter tampering or intimidation, or local experts who critique faulty ballot design or study pre-election polling data, these statistical analysts don’t need to know anything about the dynamics of an individual race. Their toolkit is primarily statistical and can be applied to any numbers, voting or otherwise. The Internet provides quick access to election numbers and speedy dissemination of findings.

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