On November 19, Rudy Giuliani and members of the Trump campaign legal team held a 90-minute press conference and made multiple allegations about voter fraud in the US Presidential elections. At the 29-minute mark, Giuliani said, “There were numerous backdated ballots, we’re just counting them now. Run over into the thousands and there were many precincts in which there was an overvote. Now let me explain to you what an overvote is which is something you should have explained to the American people because it’s about the clearest circumstantial evidence of massive fraud that you can have. An overvote is if 200% of the people who are registered in a district vote. Think about that. 200% of the registered voters in a district vote. What does that mean? That means somebody voted twice, that means somebody who’s not entitled to vote voted, an illegal, a person from another city or state, a person who’s not registered, but what it means is that those are illegitimate votes. You don’t have an overvote of 200% or 300%.”

A similar claim was earlier widespread in November. It compares two datasets — registered voters in eight US states vs higher corresponding number under the heading “projected votes”. This image was shared by chairman of Manipal Global Education Mohandas Pai (archived link) on November 5. It has been retweeted over 1,000 times since. Alt News has documented multiple instances where Pai has put out misinformation occasionally.

This screenshot was also published by right-wing news website Sirf News (archived link). This was also posted by the website’s founder Surajit Dasgupta (archived link).

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Alt News received several requests to fact-check this claim on our WhatsApp helpline number (+917600011160) and on our official Android application. On WhatsApp, the image has been shared with the text, “First time in human history, many states had over 100% voting. More votes than voters! It requires basic math skill to carry out this fraud!”

Prior to President-elect Joe Biden securing the majority, incumbent President Donald Trump consistently put out misinformation about the elections being rigged. On November 6, The New York Times reported that Twitter labelled 15 of 44 tweets and retweets by Trump as misleading since the first polls closed on Election Day. When the chart was viral, the following US states were yet to declare results — Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and North Carolina.

Fact-check

The viral image cites two websites — Real Clear Politics and World Population Review (WPR) — as its source. As per the data set, some States have more voters than their population. On November 5, US-based news channel WBTV News reported that the viral image shows the registered voters from 2018 mid-term United States elections as per WPR. According to WBTV News, WPR later updated the data set and added the following disclaimer: “A previous version of this page contained data from 2018. The current data is the most recent provided by each state.”

Alt News visited the US Census Bureau in order to view the number of registered voters in 2018 mid-term United States elections. The date on ‘Reported Voting and Registration, for States: November 2018’ was listed under table 4a. The data in the table is in thousands. This data matches the data in viral screenshot.

As of November 8 data-sets, 2020 US presidential elections voter registration statistics from each US state was:

  1. Nevada: The viral screenshot claims 1,593,143 ‘projected votes’. As per the State website, the voter registration was 1,821,356.
  2. Pennsylvania: The viral screenshot claims 7,041,672 ‘projected votes’. As per the State website, the voter registration was 9,091,371.
  3. Minnesota: The viral screenshot claims 3,197,52 ‘projected votes’. As per the State website, the voter registration was 3,588,563.
  4. North Carolina: The viral screenshot claims 5,453,943 ‘projected votes’. As per the State website, the voter registration was 7,364,507.
  5. Wisconsin: The viral screenshot claims 3,283,532 ‘projected votes’. As per the State website, the voter registration was 3,684,726.
  6. Michigan: The viral screenshot claims 5,716,581 ‘projected votes’. As per the State website, the voter registration was 8,128,934.
  7. Arizona: The viral screenshot claims 3,292,705 ‘projected votes’. As per the State website, the voter registration was 4,281,152.
  8. Georgia: The viral screenshot claims 4,662,728 ‘projected votes’. As per the State website, the voter registration was 7,233,584.

On November 4, US-based fact-checking website Snopes debunked the claim that Wisconsin counted more votes than registered voters in 2020.

On November 6, CNBC interrupted a press conference by Trump where he said, “Tens of thousands of unsolicited ballots without any verification whatsoever…” Anchor Shepard Smith interjected saying, “We are interrupting this because what the President of the United States is saying, in large part, is absolutely untrue.”

Therefore, a screenshot compared registered voters in eight States during the 2018 mid-term US elections along with higher numbers under the subheading “projected voters” ahead of declaring the winner of 2020 Presidential election to build a voter fraud narrative. This screenshot was widely shared on Indian social media as well.

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel at WION as a trainee journalist, at S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer and at The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.