On May 7, Donald Trump released a statement on his website in which he recycled familiar voting fraud claims. Trump claims there were vote “dumps” for President Joe Biden in both Michigan and Wisconsin, two states that Biden won in the 2020 presidential election. The statement has since gone viral after Jenna Ellis, former member of Trump’s legal team, among others, shared the statement on Twitter:
The first part of Trump’s statement alleges that Michigan “miraculously” went to Biden because of a suspicious vote “dump.” From the statement: “6:31 in the morning on November 4th, a dump of 149,772 votes came into the State of Michigan. Biden received 96% of those votes and the State miraculously went to him. Has the Michigan State Senate started their review of the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 yet, or are they about to start? If not, they should be run out of office.”
This is a false claim. There was no fraudulent “vote dump” for Biden in Michigan. This “149,772” number comes from metadata from the New York Times that Trump had previously tweeted about. In a fact check about a similar election fraud claim, The Dispatch’s Alec Dent explained: “data irregularities in the unofficial vote reporting done by media outlets on Election Night do not prove discrepancies in the vote: Anomalies like the number of votes not matching up to the percentage earned by candidates would be picked up when the vote was certified during the county canvas.” Furthermore, Alec wrote that: “The New York Times Vice-President for Communications Danielle Rhoades Ha told The Dispatch Fact Check that, ‘Sometimes over the course of reporting results officials or results providers make mistakes, such as mixing up two numbers, and they correct those mistakes as they verify the data. These changes are common in the difficult task of reporting millions of votes across thousands of races, and are not at all unusual.’”
We have previously addressed another Michigan voter fraud rumor that originated from a data entry error in Shiawassee County, Michigan. On November 4, a rumor circulated that “Democrats in Michigan magically found a trove of 138,339 votes” that “all went to Biden.” As we explained, though, no new ballots were found in the state and that the 138,339 votes for Biden “were the result of a data error in a graphic from Decision Desk HQ, a credible, nonpartisan election news and analysis source.” The error temporarily gave Biden a boost in Michigan numbers, but as noted: “When the error was discovered, it was edited out, and Biden’s numbers dropped back into the correct place.”
The second part of Trump’s statement, regarding another “vote dump” in Wisconsin, claims: “Likewise, at 3:42 in the morning, a dump of 143,379 votes came into the state of Wisconsin, also miraculously, given to Biden. Where did these ‘votes’ come from?” Again, the number “143,379” originates from New York Times metadata, which Trump had previously tweeted about, claiming the spike for Biden was evidence of voter fraud.
It’s true that there was a spike in votes in favor of Biden from November 3 to November 4, but the explanation is simple. Milwaukee County’s approximately 170,000 absentee votes were mostly, but not all, Democrat, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Before those absentee ballots were counted, Trump had been in the lead by more than 100,000 votes, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. USA Todayhas also addressed this claim, noting that: “The votes were reported together because Milwaukee and 38 other communities used a central count location. Other communities counted absentee ballots at the polling places, and reported them earlier along with their in-person vote totals…From 3:26 to 3:44 a.m. in The Associated Press election reporting stream, the vote for Biden jumped by 149,520 (9.2% of Biden’s total votes) and Trump’s vote jumped by 31,803 votes (2% of his total votes). Milwaukee County accounted for nearly all of that jump.”
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