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Fact check: Wisconsin did not have more votes than people registered  

Social media users have been sharing a Twitter screenshot that claims Wisconsin had more people who voted in the 2020 presidential election than number of people registered to vote and say this is evidence fraud took place. This claim is false as the presented number of registered voters was outdated.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples can be seen  here  ,  here  and  here  .  

Many examples making this claim feature a screenshot of a now-deleted tweet from a user named Mike Coudrey that reads “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.” ( here, archived here archive.is/us8Os

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has voter registration statistics available on its website  elections.wi.gov/node/7220  (archived here  archive.vn/PXAD8  ). The total number of registered voters in the state on Nov. 1, 2020 at 7 a.m. was 3,684,726. 

Reid Magney, Public Information Officer for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, told Reuters by phone that the claim is “pure disinformation” and confirmed the number of registered voters as 3,684,726.

While the exact voter turnout in the state has not yet been calculated at the time of this article’s publishing, Magney explained that voter turnout in Wisconsin for this presidential election was significantly higher than the previous elections (voter turnout statistics for 2012 and 2016 can be seen  here  ). 

The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported on Nov. 2, 2020 at 7:30 a.m. on its website that out of the 2,061,040 absentee ballots sent to voters, over 90 percent were returned (visible in totals from the total numbers in Counties excel document,  elections.wi.gov/node/7222  ).  

Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) reported that the high turnout was largely due to mail-in votes and early voting numbers ( here ) .  

The Associated Press reported that the pandemic caused over 1.9 million voters to participate in mail-in or in-person voting before election day, which resulted in significantly higher early voter turnout compared to previous elections ( here ). 

Wisconsin allows same day voter registration, which may also mean the registered voters for election day could be higher than 3,684,726 ( here ) . Magney said this total had yet to be calculated. 

News organizations have reported on the high turnout in Wisconsin for the 2020 election, including the New York Times  here  , The Guardian  here  and a local student newspaper The Daily Cardinal  here  . 

NPR explained in an article on Oct. 30 that recent surges in coronavirus cases, racial tensions, farm bankruptcies and other issues in Wisconsin may have motivated higher voter turnout than usual ( here ).  

VERDICT

False. Wisconsin had a record turnout in the 2020 election, but the number of votes was not higher than the number of registered voters.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .          

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