Fact Check: 23,000 Voters Registered With Same Wisconsin Number Is NOT Proof Of Election Fraud - It's Glitch From State Registration System

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: 23,000 Voters Registered With Same Wisconsin Number Is NOT Proof Of Election Fraud - It's Glitch From State Registration System Old Glitch

Are 23,000 Wisconsin voters registered at a prison address with the same phone number proof of election fraud? No, that's not true: Some Wisconsin voter records have the same phone number due to a glitch that occurred when the state implemented a new voter registration system and the old system had a default field that required a phone number, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. If one was not given, the same one was used for all records.

Mike Lindell made the false claim of fraud in the 2020 presidential election as he continued to provide zero evidence while claiming he has a computer expert who would share proof that has yet to materialize.

The claim appeared as a video (archived here) on Facebook on October 28, 2021, with the headline, "23,000 Votes Came From One Address In Wisconsin." It opened:

I know you haven't had a chance to go through this Morning Consult poll but it's stunning and it shows you, your relentless pursuit of truth has had an impact.

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

Screenshot 2021-10-28 at 14.03.48.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Oct 28 21:50:56 2021 UTC)

The Facebook post has a video of Steve Bannon's internet show with Mike Lindell as the guest. Lindell's election fraud claims have been debunked by Lead Stories multiple times. Readers can find those stories here.

Lindell frequently claims that he has computer evidence that a secret person has discovered for only him that shows the November 2020 presidential election was corrupt. None of his "evidence" has proven that there were voting irregularities and he has not provided any actual proof of his claims. In this video he claims he has hired people who find "deviations" in electronic voting records. At 4:17 Lindell claims he has data that will prove there was corruption in the elections, saying:

We have all the cyber data, we have all the packet captures from the whole election.

Lead Stories has debunked his claims of "packet captures" multiple times, which you can find here.

At 6:40 in the video Lindell makes the false claim about the 23,000 Wisconsin voters as he's claiming he has new computer experts who are looking into election fraud all over the country:

I'll give you an example in Wisconsin, 23,000 names were pulled when they had to react in Wisconsin. They all voted out of a prison address with the same phone number.

A Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesperson responded to a Lead Stories question with an October 28, 2021, email directing us to their website's article with the headline, "Why are there thousands of voters with the same phone number listed in the statewide voter registration database?"

This issue is almost exclusive to voters in the city of Racine, and almost exclusive to inactive voters. A default phone number appears in some Inactive Voter Records in the city of Racine because of data conversion more than 15 years ago from the city's own legacy voter registration system into the current WisVote system.
The city of Racine's legacy voter registration system likely required a phone number for all registered voters, and if one was not provided at the time a default phone number, which is a city of Racine number, was entered."

Screen Shot 2021-10-28 at 2.49.04 PM.png

The website addressed the claim Lindell made in the video:

A recent blog post from an advocacy group stated that over 20,000 records in the city of Racine had the same phone number associated with a voter record. The reality is that nearly all of those records referenced are Inactive Voter Records tied to voters who have been inactive for many years. The phone number in question is a city of Racine number that appeared in the Racine legacy system, a number that was entered as a default when a voter did not provide a phone number during registration.

It is unclear why the municipality, pre-2005, chose to have a phone number be a required field in their registration system, which required a default number to be entered if none was provided by the voter. There are 384 active voters in Racine who have this default phone number listed in WisVote. Those voters have not updated their phone number since the city assigned the default number prior to statewide voter registration being required after 2005. It should be noted that a phone number has no bearing on a voter's eligibility. WEC staff have analyzed the data associated with the 384 active voters in WisVote that contain the default phone number and there is nothing else unusual about the records or other data fields in common.
Many voters do not provide a phone number during registration to avoid being contacted by campaigns and other organizations that purchase voter registration data from the WEC.

So, it is likely that these remaining voters have had no reason to update their voter record since they originally registered and therefore the default number remains in place.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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