Fact Check

Three Wisconsin Counties 'Admit' They Padded Votes for Trump?

An irregularity that showed more ballots cast than votes counted was corrected when the official results were submitted.

Published Nov 28, 2016

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Three Wisconsin counties admit to fixing the vote in favor of Donald Trump.

On 25 November 2016, various stories (including a since-removed post in the liberal click bait blog Occupy Democrats quoted below) appeared seemingly reporting that three counties in Wisconsin had admitted to committing voter fraud by padding the vote tallies for President-elect Donald Trump:

The point to take away from this entire voting debacle in these little Wisconsin towns is the voter fraud was uncovered because they lazily attempted to give Trump an edge and did not anticipate their villainy being discovered. In other areas of the nation it is entirely possible that similar scenarios transpired, and the individuals involved were smoother in covering their tracks.

In fact, no counties in Wisconsin have "admitted" to committing voter fraud. While there was a discrepancy between the number of ballots cast and votes counted in one county, Outagamie, it was corrected when the official results were announced.

It's unclear where the "three counties" claim originates from, because the irregularity occurred in four wards (Cicero and Grand Chute along with the Villages of Bear Creek and Hortonville) of just one county — Outagamie. Lynn Mischker, village clerk-treasurer for Hortonville gave the following explanation to local news outlets:

In order to give election returns to the Outagamie County Clerk’s office as quickly as possible the Chief Inspector added together the votes from the election machine tapes. An error was made while keying the numbers on the calculator during this process resulting in an incorrect number of votes reported on Election night.

The official process of tallying the votes was completed and rechecked. These vote numbers were recorded and delivered to the Outagamie County Clerk’s office the morning of November 9th. The official tally reflects the accurate votes in the Village.

The issue, and a slew of shoddily-reported stories on political blogs, prompted questions over whether the election results were being purposely tilted toward Trump. Further, Green Party candidate Jill Stein petitioned successfully for a vote recount in the state.

However, as of 28 November 2016, we found no evidence that any of Wisconsin's 72 counties admitted to committing voter fraud. The irregularity in Outagamie County appears to have been human error in tallying the unofficial results, an issue that was corrected with the official count.


Matesic, Emily. "Discrepancies in Unofficial Outagamie County Election Results Explained."   WBAY. 22 November 2016.

Behr, Madeleine. "Voter fraud in Outagamie County? Think Again."   Post-Crescent. 23 November 2016.

Palmer, Bill. "Three Wisconsin Precincts Revise Vote Totals After Caught Padding Donald Trump's Numbers."   Palmer Report. 25 November 2016.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.