Thousands of Trump Votes Erased in Wisconsin-Mostly Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Before an official recount even began in Wisconsin, 25,000 fake votes for Donald Trump were wiped out because “they apparently never existed to begin with.”

There were more votes than registered voters in at least five precincts in Wisconsin in the 2016 election, igniting speculation of widespread voter fraud.

The Truth:

Mostly false or misleading reports about voter fraud in Wisconsin began swirling ahead of an official recount in the state triggered by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Stein crowd-sourced money needed to pay for an official recount in Wisconsin, and she vowed to sue after state officials denied her request to conduct an official recount by hand.

That back-and-forth opened up plenty of room for speculation and rumors about election fraud in a state that President-elect Donald Trump shocked the nation by winning.

As tempers flared, a rumor circulated that 5,000 or 25,000 Trump votes (depending on the version) had been stricken because they “never existed” in the first place. And a related rumor began circulating that there were more votes than voters in at least five precincts in Wisconsin, signaling widespread voter fraud.

These rumors appear to stem from what has been described as “human error” leading to inaccurate unofficial vote totals in five precincts in Outagamie County. However, the mistake was caught, and the vote totals were adjusted, before a board of canvassers certified the state’s official results.

That means claims that 5,000 or 25,000 votes for Trump had already been stricken from Wisconsin’s official vote totals before the recount began are false. The inaccurate vote totals were caught before the official results were certified, meaning the official vote tally remains unchanged.

Lynn Mischker, the village clerk of Hortonville, explained the discrepancy in a statement to an ABC affiliate in Wisconsin:

“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.”

Outagamie County Clerk Lori O’Bright explained that human error sometimes occurs in rural areas where totals are tabulated by hand and phoned in from area polling locations, which is why a board of canvassers reviews the results before they’re certified:

“The canvass is conducted by county clerks throughout the state. We are on the partisan ticket so our canvass also has to have a member of the opposite party on the canvass, along with another member. So, it is reviewed as fairly as possible.”

So, despite rumors that 5,000 or 25,000 Trump votes have already been erased, official vote totals from Outagamie County had not changed since the results were certified.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 11/28/2016

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