On Nov. 4, 2020, as several states continued to count votes in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, a rumor went viral on social media holding that Wisconsin had counted more votes (3,239,920) than it had registered voters (3,129,000). On Twitter, one user claimed that this was clear evidence of fraud:
The claim made in this tweet is false.
Wisconsin has not counted more votes than it has registered voters. This tweet is comparing the vote count from 2020 with the number of registered voters from 2018. When we take a look at Wisconsin’s current total of registered voters, we see that there is nothing fraudulent about the state’s count.
According to the Wisconsin Election Commission, the “State of Wisconsin had 3,684,726 active registered voters on November 1, 2020.” It’s unclear where the “3,239,920” number shown in the above-displayed tweet comes from. As of this writing, The New York Times reports that a total of “3,296,836” votes have been cast in Wisconsin. In either case, the number of votes counted does not exceed the number of registered voters.
So where did the “3,129,000 registered voters” statistic come from? The 2018 midterms.
According to data from the United States Census Bureau concerning “Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2018,” Wisconsin had 3,129,000 registered voters in 2018.