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Voters wait in line outside a polling center on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP) Voters wait in line outside a polling center on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP)

Voters wait in line outside a polling center on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP)

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke November 4, 2020

No, Wisconsin doesn’t have more ballots cast than registered voters

If Your Time is short

  • As of midday on Nov. 4, the number of votes cast in the presidential election was less than the number of registered voters in Wisconsin on Nov. 1. 
     
  • Because Wisconsin allows people to register to vote on Election Day, the total number of registered voters in the 2020 election could change.
 

A winner had yet to be declared in the presidential race in Wisconsin when, on Nov. 4, a tweet wrongly alleging voter fraud started to spread online. 

"BREAKING: Wisconsin has more votes than people who are registered to vote," tweeted Mike Coudrey, who describes himself as an activist, entrepreneur and investor. "Total number of registered voters: 3,129,000. Total number of votes cast: 3,239,920. This is direct evidence of voter fraud."

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

Coudrey, who on Election Day tweeted two other inaccurate claims that we debunked, has since deleted the tweet. But not before it was shared widely on Twitter and Facebook, where one account wrote: "Proof voter fraud in Wisconsin materializes."

We reached out to Coudrey about his tweet but did not immediately receive a reply.

His claim drew the attention of New York Times reporter Sheera Frenkel, who quickly called it out as misinformation. 

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"There are more than 3.6 million registered voters in Wisconsin. Look for yourself," she tweeted, sharing a link to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. 

According to the commission, as of Nov. 1, the state had more than 3.6 million active registered voters. 

The commission’s verified Twitter account also tweeted that statistic on Nov. 4, seemingly in response to Coudrey’s tweet. Wisconsin also allows voters to register on Election Day, the commission said, which means that the voter registration numbers that some counties report in their unofficial results may not be a true indicator of how many people are registered to vote. 

Even so, the total number of votes cast and counted in the presidential election in Wisconsin was 3,297,199 as of about 1 p.m. Eastern time on Nov. 4 — fewer than the number of registered voters in the state as of Nov. 1. 

"There are never more ballots than registered voters," the commission tweeted. 

We rate the claim that Wisconsin had more votes than registered voters Pants on Fire!

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

 

Our Sources

Mike Coudrey tweet, Nov. 4, 2020

Facebook post, Nov. 4, 2020

Sheera Frenkel tweet, Nov. 4, 2020

Wisconsin Elections Commission tweet, Nov. 4, 2020

PolitiFact, No, ballots for Trump weren’t thrown out by a poll worker from Pennsylvania’s Erie County, Nov. 3, 2020

PolitiFact, No, sign outside a Pennsylvania poll isn’t a voting scam, Nov. 3, 2020

Wisconsin Elections Commission, Nov. 1, 2020 voter registration statistics, Nov. 1, 2020

The New York Times, Wisconsin election results, visited Nov. 4, 2020

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More by Ciara O'Rourke

No, Wisconsin doesn’t have more ballots cast than registered voters

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