Robert A. Bonavito, CPA PC

Benford's Law Applied to Pennsylvania Vote Count | Election 2020

Benford’s Law applied to the State of Pennsylvania 2020 presidential election vote counts.

As a forensic accountant I have many ways and techniques to spot fraud. One of the ways we detect fraud especially when analyzing tax returns, general ledgers and other items that contain a large amount of numerical data is by applying Benford’s Law.

Benford’s Law states that any random numbers will have a specific result as to which numbers appear first in each set.

Benford’s Law makes sense when you analyze it from the Logarithmic scale.

You can apply Benford’s Law to the distance of the planet from the sun, the distance of the stars from our planet and even use it to analyze Fibonacci numbers. In each case you will get a histogram that is almost identical to the one shown to the right.

I have received many requests to apply Benford’s Law to some of the results for the 2020 presidential election. For this example I will be using the State of Pennsylvania County vote totals for the presidential election.

I will fix the data and then I will use an Excel formula to segregate the data based on the first number that appears.



In conclusion, Benford’s Law analysis applied to the 67-county vote counts of Pennsylvania for the presidential election of 2020, indicate that the data is manipulated.

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