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Methodological Aspects of Electoral Fraud Detection

Student: Yulia Kozlova

Supervisor: Valentina Kuskova

Faculty: International laboratory for Applied Network Research

Educational Programme: Applied Statistics with Network Analysis (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2021

In both political science and public political discourse, elections are an important characteristic of a country's political regime. How “free and fair” an election is largely determines whether a given country is considered a democratic, authoritarian, or hybrid regime. However, judgments about the degree of freedom and fairness are often based only on expert assessments, without any objective foundation. At the same time, there is a whole line of research that deals with mathematical methods to identify electoral anomalies. In this work, the author makes an attempt to build a connection between political science and mathematics and to systematize the available knowledge about statistical methods for detecting electoral manipulations. The case, which formed the basis of the analysis, is the parliamentary elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation in 2016, which took place simultaneously with the elections of heads of regions and deputies of regional legislative assemblies.

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