Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh promoted a fever-swamp fantasy about Wisconsin’s presidential tallies in order to delegitimize the election result.
President Donald Trump was leading in the state on Tuesday night, but Democratic nominee Joe Biden pulled ahead and was projected to have won it on Wednesday thanks to mail-in ballots that heavily favored his campaign. Right-wing media figures have been feverishly concocting fraud claims in Wisconsin and other states where Biden leads or has picked up ground in hopes of helping Trump create chaos and lay the groundwork to throw out legally cast votes.
Limbaugh, who received the Medal of Freedom from Trump in February, responded to the news that Biden was ahead Wednesday afternoon by citing what he claimed was “direct evidence of voter fraud” in Wisconsin. According to the host, “Wisconsin now has more votes than people who are registered to vote."
Limbaugh appeared to be citing a falsehood that originated on Parler and circulated on TikTok and other social media platforms on Wednesday. It went viral after being shared by the Trumpist influencer and conspiracy theorist Michael Coudrey.
“BREAKING: Wisconsin has more votes than people who are registered to vote,” Coudrey tweeted. He went on to claim that the state had recorded 3,239,920 votes but had only 3,129,000.
“This is direct evidence of fraud,” he claimed.
It isn’t. As Snopes.com pointed out, the 3,129,000 figure was Wisconsin’s number of registered voters during the 2018 midterms. As of November 1, the state had 3,684,726 active registered voters, according to its elections commission. Contra the viral falsehood and Limbaugh, 3,684,726 is greater than both 3,129,000 and the total number of recorded votes as of posting, 3,297,137.