Friday, August 28, 2015

Kansas Election Fraud, Part 4

I was minding my business yesterday afternoon, when I was approached by someone on the internet with data I might be interested in.  I was half-expecting Ashley Madison or other scandalous data, but what I was presented with, was much, much juicier: election data.  Kansas Governor's Race 2014.  This is interesting data, given the current debate over election fraud in Kansas.  Also, for some reason, this data has not yet been posted to the Secretary of State's website (I would soon find out it was submitted by counties in poor formats, so maybe this is explainable).

If you're curious about the history of my analysis of Kansas election fraud, I've written on it a few times below.  The basics of it are this:

A WSU National Institute of Aviation Research statistician says she found an anomaly in voting records related to size of precincts and correlated Republican vote shares.   This pattern has been found in several elections, going back several years, and states, and she thinks this may be evidence voting machines may be unreliable (potential systematic election fraud).   I replicated her analysis, fairly easily, and her statistics are "correct." That said, I disagree with her, on the basis that precinct size is not a result of a stochastic-random process, correlation with demographic factors, and endogeneity to turn-out problems in high-republican districts.  
And my prior posts for ongoing reading.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


The data came from an internet source, but was a forward from the Secretary of State's office.  I believe it is accurate, there's a couple of times I missed a control total here and there, by small amounts, and uncorrelated to any one candidate.  I was able to cross-reference it to data on a handful of county websites and national aggregate data.

The data itself was in pretty poor form.   101 counties were aggregated in a good spreadsheet.  Four counties were on pdfs:  Shawnee, Sedgwick, Wyandotte, Johnson.  These are the most populated counties in Kansas, so this is an issue.  Two the counties were easily recoverable, two were not:
  • Shawnee:  not an OCR'd PDF, so I ignored it for now.  Will seek a solution.
  • Sedgwick: wrong data? not at a precinct level.  Will followup (especially because Clarkson's request is in this County).
  • Wyandotte: OCR'd PDF.  I scraped the data and added it to the 101 counties.
  • Johnson: OCR'd PDF. I scraped the data and added it to the 101 counties.


The methodology here has been well documented in my other posts, so I won't go into details.  Here are the basics of what I found.  

  • My first attempt to replicate Clarkson's prior methodology on the Governor's race did not show the correlation.  In this case I was looking at the other 101 counties.  There weren't many big precincts in those counties though, so the failure to replicate was somewhat unsurprising. Here's the output from that:

  • My second attempt at replication, looked at only Johnson county, which has more precincts of 500 or more voters than the original 101 counties combined.  In this case, I confirmed Beth Clarksons correlation, effectively confirming that the "anomaly" was also present in the 2014 Governor's race:

  • So at this point I've confirmed Clarkson's results in fairly nerdy R outputs.  What does that actually look like. Here's a prettier chart of that correlation:

  • And more confirming evidence from Wyandotte county.

  • And one final piece of data I found interesting.  The Wyandotte county data had some general turnout by precinct information.  When I dug in, I found that the more Republican precincts had much better turnout.  This isn't hugely surprising, based on conservative voter bases, but it does lend some creedence to some of the theories surrounding the Brownback win, despite polls favoring Davis.


I'm missing some counties, and this was just an initial exploration so I'll post more later, but the takeaways for now:
  • Though I still disagree with Beth Clarkson's conclusion, the statistics also seem to hold up in the 2014 Kansas Governor's race.
  • Turnout seems higher in  to be an issue in highly republican precincts.
  • I will explore both of these issues, hopefully with fuller data, in a future post.

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