Fact Check: There Are NOT More Registered Voters In Arizona Than The Total Population Of The State

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: There Are NOT More Registered Voters In Arizona Than The Total Population Of The State Inflated #s

Are there 9,871,525 registered voters in Arizona, a state of only 7.279 million? No, that's not true: This is a false claim that has been circulating on Facebook. The number 9,871,525 actually refers to the total number of people in the U.S. who shared on Facebook that they were registered to vote at one point in late September.

The claim appeared in a Facebook meme (archived here) where it was published on September 24, 2020. The meme read:


This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Oct 1 13:32:42 2020 UTC)

The total estimated population of Arizona in 2019 was 7,278,717, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As of August 2020, there were 3,989,214 registered voters in Arizona, according to data on the Arizona Secretary of State's website, not 9,871,525.

It's not just people in Arizona wrongly claiming that there are 9,871,525 people registered to vote in their state-- From late on September 23, 2020, to September 24 Facebook users in New York, Maine, Pennsylvania and Oregon posted saying that there are 9,871,525 registered voters in their states. All of these Facebook users misinterpreted a number provided by Facebook's voting information initiative.

The Facebook user from Oregon posted this screenshot:

Screen Shot 2020-10-01 at 10.43.17 AM.png

The 9,871,525 figure refers to the number of "people who shared about registering to vote in the United States." The text above the number likely mislead Facebook users because it says "showing info for [YOUR STATE]."

(Editors' Note: Facebook is a client of Lead Stories, which is a third-party fact checker for the social media platform. On our About page, you will find the following information:

Since February 2019 we are actively part of Facebook's partnership with third party fact checkers. Under the terms of this partnership we get access to listings of content that has been flagged as potentially false by Facebook's systems or its users and we can decide independently if we want to fact check it or not. In addition to this we can enter our fact checks into a tool provided by Facebook and Facebook then uses our data to help slow down the spread of false information on its platform. Facebook pays us to perform this service for them but they have no say or influence over what we fact check or what our conclusions are, nor do they want to.)

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

  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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