New CSH Policy Brief sheds light on Russian elections in September


The statistical election toolkit developed earlier by Hub scientists indicates huge irregularities in the recent Duma elections.


In a new policy brief, Hub scientists present statistical analyses of data from the 2021 Duma elections held September 17 to 19 in Russia. For their work, Stefan Thurner and Peter Klimek used a statistical forensic toolkit they published in 2018.


Stefan and Peter see systematic and highly significant statistical evidence for the presence of ballot-stuffing, i.e., multiple ballots per person during the voting process, as well as voter rigging: the intimidation and coercion of voters.


According to this work, Vladimir Putin’s party United Russia would have yielded an overall outcome of around 30 percent instead of the officially postulated 50 percent without electoral malpractice. Smaller voting stations contributed much stronger to statistical irregularities than larger stations, which is a strong sing for intimidation and/or ballot-stuffing.

Results from the ballot-stuffing model

Results from the ballot-stuffing model: A fair election would lead to a symmetrical vote–turnout distribution (A), as it is typically observed in mature democracies. In order to approximate the shape observed in the 2021 Russian Duma election (B), one has to assume that about 50 % of all electoral districts show an inflated turnout that coincides with increased vote shares for the party United Russia, as is characteristic for ballot-stuffing.

“In about half of all voting districts different degrees of ballot-stuffing have to be assumed to explain the observed statistics. In 49 % of stations, we find signs for ballot-stuffing,” says the CSH Policy Brief.


CSH Policy Briefs present socially relevant statements that can be derived from CSH research results.


Read the whole CSH Policy Brief 5/2021: “Election forensics of the Russia 2021 elections statistically indicate massive election fraud”