Press Release Bolivia Latin America and the Caribbean Organization of American States

New Report on Bolivia’s 2019 Election Responds to Claims of Fraud Late in Count


12/09/2020 12:00am

Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460Mail_Outline

Researchers Seeking to Uphold OAS Fraud Claims Ignored Revelatory Vote Variations within Localities

Washington, DC ― A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) responds to recent publications suggesting that the official results in Bolivia’s 2019 elections, giving then president Evo Morales a first-round victory, were inexplicable. The 80-page report by economist David Rosnick responds to researchers, including some contracted by the Organization of American States (OAS), who have sought to uphold the OAS’s claims of election-altering fraud.

Rosnick finds that researchers such as John Newman and Irfan Nooruddin were able to present narratives delegitimizing the election results by focusing attention on voting patterns in larger geographic areas and obscuring more local voting patterns. By analyzing voting patterns within smaller localities, as presented in Bolivia’s election data, Rosnick demonstrates that Morales’s first-round victory in the October 2019 elections was consistent with voting patterns throughout the reporting of vote totals, and presented no anomalies or indications of fraud.

“No matter the researcher or the specifics of the approach, one finds that when within-locality variation is taken into account, the election results stand up to scrutiny,” Rosnick writes. “Only by ignoring this important source of variation are [the researchers] able to argue that the election outcome was in doubt.”

David Rosnick, who also coauthored CEPR’s 82-page report responding to the OAS Final Audit report on the 2019 Bolivian elections, as well as an earlier paper responding to John Newman’s work supporting the OAS’s conclusions, also writes:

There is no question that the late-counted tally sheets in both the quick and official counts broke disproportionately heavily for incumbent Evo Morales. There is also no question as to whether or not Morales would have secured a first-round victory if not for the fact that the late sheets broke more heavily in his favor: he would not. The question is whether or not the shift is sufficiently understood.

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