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Numbers Are Bad Liars

After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of Iran’s June 12 presidential election, protesters have been crying fraud. In a Washington Post op-ed, Bernd Beber and Alexandra Scacco claim that the truth lies in the digits of the vote count. Humans are bad at making up fraudulent numbers, they write, and the fact that the vote counts for the different provinces contain “too many 7’s and not enough 5’s in the last digit” and not enough non-adjacent digits points to made-up numbers. Iran’s election monitors, meanwhile, acknowledged that the number of votes exceeded the number of voters, but deny fraud. [%comments]