REPORT BoliviaLatin America and the CaribbeanWorld

Unnatural Claims in a ‘Natural Experiment’: Escobari and Hoover on the 2019 Bolivian Elections


December 2019, David Rosnick

On November 25, a short paper was released purporting to show that there was fraud in the October 20 Bolivian presidential election — and that absent this fraud, the election would have required a second round. However, the authors, Escobari and Hoover produce no credible evidence that the official results of the election should be doubted. Instead, their approach confirms our finding that the expanded MAS margin on the later tally sheets is explained by the mix of precincts considered before and after the interruption of the unofficial TREP count. Their alarm regarding “dosing” was based on a highly distorted presentation of the facts. Instead, careful examination simply reminds us that geography was even more critical to the order in which tally sheets were counted in the cómputo than to the order in the TREP.

In this brief, we replicate the results of Escobari and Hoover, discover errors in their analysis, and eventually find that the approach essentially confirms our own findings that the change in margin was predictable.

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