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KSL FactCheck: Two false claims up, two down in presidential vote count

FILE - In this June 17, 2020, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Darby, Pa. The coronavirus pandemic isn't going away anytime soon, but campaigns are still forging ahead with in-person organizing. The pandemic upended elections this year, forcing campaigns to shift their organizing activities almost entirely online and compelling both parties to reconfigure their conventions. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

SALT LAKE CITY — As the national vote count continues, false posts made the rounds on social media. One claimed Wisconsin had more votes counted than citizens registered to vote. Another, that a surge in vote totals for Joe Biden shows clear evidence of fraud. Both claims are completely untrue. 

False claims make the rounds

The claim: Wisconsin has “3,129,000 registered voters” but counted 3,239,920 votes.

The facts: As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 3.3 million ballots have been counted in the presidential race in Wisconsin, according to The Associated Press.

Wisconsin had 3,684,726 active registered voters on Nov. 1, 2020. The data citing 3.1 million registered voters appears to come from several years ago. 

Wisconsin does not collect information on the gender, race or political party affiliation of registered voters, according to Wisconsin Elections Commission, which administers the state’s election laws.

‘Vertical Line’ voting in Wisconsin is phony baloney

The claim: More than 100,000 votes in Wisconsin for Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden “came out of nowhere.”

The facts: Based on the counting of in-person votes, Republican incumbent candidate President Donald Trump initially held the lead in Wisconsin on election night, but once poll workers tallied more votes, Biden picked up enough support to secure the win.

The counting of those outstanding ballots reveals a surge in the vote tally, but those vote didn’t come “out of nowhere” as claimed.

Milwaukee didn’t finish counting absentee ballots until 3 a.m. So the outstanding ballots at that point — including 169,000 from Milwaukee — overwhelmingly favored Biden, according to the AP.

Mr. Trump has asked for a recount in Wisconsin, where the AP has declared Biden the winner. He’s also suing for access to locations where votes are now being counted in Michigan, according to PolitiFact.

The news agency also reports that two charts posted on the news website FiveThirtyEight showed a spike in votes for Biden in Wisconsin and Michigan on the morning of Nov. 4, but that’s because counties in those states released a batch of voting results about that time.

Mr. Trump also received votes in these batches, contrary to what those sharing false claims suggest.

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