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Wisconsin has not counted more votes than there are registered voters

November 6, 2020 GMT

CLAIM:  Wisconsin has “3,129,000 registered voters,” but counted 3,239,920 votes. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the state had 3,684,726 active registered voters as of Nov. 1. As of Wednesday afternoon, there had been nearly 3.3 million ballots counted in the presidential race, according to The Associated Press.  


THE FACTS: On Wednesday, as states were continuing to count votes in the U.S. presidential election, multiple false posts circulated on social media claiming that Wisconsin had more votes counted than people registered to vote. 

“BREAKING: Wisconsin has more votes than people who are registered to vote.

Total number of registered voters: 3,129,000. Total number of votes cast: 3,239,920

This is direct evidence of fraud,” one Twitter user claimed. The tweet had over 9,000 retweets. 

Another Twitter user wrote: “Registered voters in Wisconsin: 3,129,000. Votes counted so far in Wisconsin: 3,170,206. 101% turnout among Wisconsin voters? FRAUDULENT.” The tweet had over 1,300 retweets. 

The United States Census Bureau reported that there were 3,129,000 registered voters during the 2018 midterms. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the AP declared Biden the winner in Wisconsin after election officials in the state said all outstanding ballots had been counted, save for a few hundred in one township and an expected small number of provisional ballots.

False claims swirled on social media regarding votes in Wisconsin on Wednesday after Trump showed a lead in the battleground state Tuesday night when mainly in-person voting results were being tabulated. Once all votes were counted, Biden had a narrow lead over Trump. 


Milwaukee didn’t finish counting its roughly 169,000 absentees votes until around 3 a.m. When they did, Milwaukee police escorted the city’s elections director from a central counting location to the county courthouse to deliver thumb drives with the data, and it was immediately folded into the overall count, making it appear as though there was a sudden surge in the tally, according to AP reporting.  


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: