FACT CHECK: Did Seven Milwaukee City Wards Have Over 100% Voter Turnout?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims seven voting wards in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had more ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election than registered voters.

Verdict: False

Unofficial election statistics from the Milwaukee County Clerk show that turnout was not above 100 percent in the seven wards listed by Milwaukee City Wire.

Fact Check:

In the week since the 2020 presidential election, social media has become replete with allegations of voter fraud. This particular Facebook post shares a screen grab of a tweet claiming seven Milwaukee city wards exceeded 100 percent voter turnout. (RELATED: Viral Image Falsely Claims Wisconsin Had More Votes Cast Than Registered Voters)

The tweet quotes a Nov. 4 article published by the Milwaukee City Wire. The article, which has since been updated, claimed that seven wards exceeded 100 percent turnout. The article listed Wards 274, 273, 272, 277, 269, 234 and 312 as having more ballots cast than registered voters, seemingly suggesting voter fraud occurring in them.

However, the numbers are not accurate. Data from the Milwaukee County Clerk’s website shows that turnout did not exceed 100 percent in the seven wards. Here are the numbers of registered voters and, as of Nov. 4, the unofficial tally of votes counted for each of the seven wards, as reported by the Milwaukee County Clerk:

  • Ward 274: 702 registered voters and 611 votes cast.
  • Ward 273: 671 registered voters and 612 votes cast.
  • Ward 272: 1,190 registered voters and 1,096 votes cast.
  • Ward 277: 1,520 registered voters and 1,321 votes cast.
  • Ward 269: 978 registered voters and 861 votes cast.
  • Ward 234: 688 registered voters and 588 votes cast.
  • Ward 312: 1,029 registered voters and 951 votes cast.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission tweeted on Nov. 4 that the state had over 3.68 million active registered voters on Nov. 1, noting that “there are never more ballots than registered voters.” The state has same-day voter registration. Reid Magney, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, previously told Check Your Fact that the state’s unofficial estimate for voter turnout is about 72.6%.

The Milwaukee City Wire article was later updated to reflect the numbers reported by the county clerk’s office. In total, unofficial data shows 460,300 ballots were cast for the 2020 election in Milwaukee County out of 550,132 registered voters.

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

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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