STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Did Michigan add 138,000 votes and none of them were for Trump and was there a 4 a.m. ballot dump in Wisconsin? No, that's not true. Lead Stories and other news outlets have debunked similar claims by showing records of a Michigan clerical error that got exaggerated. Wisconsin officials said vote-counting records do not show a "ballot dump," only updates during the vote-counting process.
The claims appeared in a video (archived here) on the rumble website on November 4, 2020.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
Episode 2320b - Coup d'etat, Trump Sets Trap To Expose It All, Patriots Know The Playbook
The [DS]/MSM did exactly what the patriots thought they were going to do.
The caption on the X22 Report podcast video claimed:
The [DS]/MSM did exactly what the patriots thought they were going to do. The saw the landslide, the red wave and had to shut it down before it took effect. The [DS]/MSM have just outed themselves. Remember the [DS]/[CB] are going to fight to the very end, and they will use everything in the arsenal to get rid of Trump. The birth of a new nation does not come easy, just go back in history to the founding fathers, the British fought to the bitter end. The patriots knew this was going to happen, they know the playbook, the trap is set. This is not about the election, it is about returning the power to the people and the people have voted and the [DS] /MSM stopped the voice of the people when the stopped the elections. Watch what happens next."
The video makes several claims common to QAnon conspiracy theories that Trump has a plan to keep the "Deep State" from taking control away from him that "Patriots" are aware of amid the election.
The video makes two false claims about the ballot counting in Michigan and Wisconsin.
At time-code 12:23 in the video they note Trump's tweet about the "finding" Biden votes:
They are finding Biden votes all over the place -- in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
The video questions:
What happened here? It seems that these different states they found magical ballots at 4am.
What happened here? All of a sudden we started to see ballots being dropped off at 3:45 a.m. and 4 a.m. There were ballots that were dropped off at 3:45. Then we come to find out in Michigan all of a sudden there were more ballots that were dropped off and Biden's vote count went up by something like 138,000 votes. None for Trump. Which is statistically impossible. In Wisconsin we saw the exact same thing."
Both of these claims have been debunked.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article on November 4, 2020, about the ballots with an article titled, "Wisconsin did not 'find' 100K ballots around 4 a.m. the morning after the election, or take break from counting votes."
The video shows a chart from FiveThirtyEight.com that began the controversy. It showed the Wisconsin race change results and an increase of Democratic votes around 4 a.m. on November 4, 2020, the morning after the election.
Parts of Brown and Kenosha counties still have to report votes, but as things stand, Biden leads by 0.22 percentage points statewide in Wisconsin, 49.25 percent to 49.03 percent, according to ABC News. https://t.co/Vecl2R1NkA pic.twitter.com/H5PqcFuiCX-- FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) November 4, 2020
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that ballots were not being discovered but were just being recorded:
'We are not finding ballots,' Julietta Henry, director of elections for Milwaukee County, told PolitiFact National. 'Ballots are being counted.'
The increase in the chart simply shows when the City of Milwaukee reported its absentee ballot results. We knew well before the election that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to vote absentee, that it takes longer to count such ballots, and that Milwaukee is a Democratic stronghold.'
Lead Stories debunked the claim that Biden's vote tally rose by 138,000 votes with no change to the vote count for Trump.
What looked like a suspicious, one-sided jump was actually just an input error. The data was quickly corrected, but the claim persisted.
The screen grab of a chart that had been automatically updated with the erroneous tally was posted on Facebook:
I present to you evidence that shows how corrupt our system is. It's rigged AF...Posted by Chris Blanco on Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Concerns about the sudden jump in vote tallies seem to have originated among people who were closely watching the graphics on Decision Desk HQ, a company that collects vote totals as they are updated on government election websites and then automatically updates Decision Desk HQ graphics. For a few minutes, the charts for Michigan showed Biden's total sharply increasing with no increase in Trump's tally.
The maker of the chart, Decision Desk HQ, explained it in a tweet:
This morning there was a clerical error in the Shiawassee, MI county presidential data,. Once we identified the error, we cleared the erroneous data and updated it with the correct data as provided by officials. We stand by our data as reflected on https://t.co/J7J00UQxN8.-- Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) November 4, 2020
Lead Stories reached out to Drew McCoy, president of Decision Desk HQ, to see what happened. He said:
There are occasionally input errors and apparently there was one.
Michigan Secretary of State spokesperson Tracy Wimmer told Lead Stories:
It is my understanding that the data error was corrected by the county that had been responsible for it and on our website within 20 minutes. I do not know at what point today the organization realized the error in their graphic, but again, we emphasize that is why voters should go to trusted sources of information. While errors can and do occur during processes like this, they are often quickly corrected -- as was the case on our end -- and our data is rigorously reviewed to catch those types of errors before being turned into more digestible/contextualized information for the public, like graphics which have the potential to go viral."
2020-11-06T21:46:56Z 2020-11-06T21:46:56ZUpdated to add link to Wayback Machine archived version of the video.