Fact Check: Michelle Obama Did NOT Register To Vote As A Man

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Michelle Obama Did NOT Register To Vote As A Man Fake Proof

Did Michelle Obama register to vote as a man in 1994 in Illinois? No, that's not true: A public information officer at the Illinois State Board of Elections told Lead Stories that this claim is inaccurate. The document that is supposedly the former first lady's voter registration record did not come from the Board as an article falsely claims, and the Board has "no record of this voter's record ever indicating any gender other than female," the information officer said. Also, Lead Stories has previously debunked the website where this claim appears.

The claims appeared in an article (archived here) published by News Punch on July 22, 2022, titled "Michelle Obama Registered To Vote As a Man In 1994 According To Illinois State Board of Elections." It opened:

Former First Lady Michelle Obama was registered to vote as a man from 1994 until 2008, according to official documents obtained from the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Michelle Obama Registered To Vote As a Man In 1994 According To Illinois State Board of Elections - News Punch

Former First Lady Michelle Obama was registered to vote as a man from 1994 until 2008, according to official documents obtained from the Illinois State Board of Elections.

The article claims that an official document is the purported voter registration of Michelle Obama, uploaded on the Scribd.com platform.

In an email to Lead Stories sent on July 26, 2022, Matt Dietrich with the Illinois State Board of Elections told Lead Stories that this claim is inaccurate as:

The record shown in the News punch article did not come from the Illinois State Board of Elections. We have no record of this voter's record ever indicating any gender other than female.

Amendments to any Chicago voters' registration would go through the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. Lead Stories has reached out to them and will update if a response is received.

The image at the top of the News Punch article was digitally manipulated, as we previously reported in this October 12, 2020, fact check titled, "This Is NOT An Original Photo Of Barack and Michelle Obama."

About News Punch

NewsPunch (formerly YourNewsWire) has published several hoaxes and fake news articles in the past so anything they write or publish should be taken with a large grain of salt. Their Facebook page "The People's Voice" even lost its verification checkmark according to a 2018 report from Media Matters For America.

The Terms of Use of the site (archived here) also make it clear they don't really stand behind the accuracy of any of their reporting:

NEWSPUNCH, LLC AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON THE SITE FOR ANY PURPOSE.

RationalWiki described it as:

YourNewsWire (styled as YourNewsWire.com) is an Los Angeles-based clickbait fake news website known for disseminating conspiracy theories and misleading information, contrary to its claimed motto ('News. Truth. Unfiltered').

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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