Incorrect US voter roll figure revives false 2020 election claims

·1 min read

Social media posts have revived claims that US President Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election was impossible because Donald Trump received 74 million votes out of 133 million registered voters. This is false; more than 168 million Americans were registered, and Biden won both the popular vote and the Electoral College.

"Donald Trump got 74 million votes and There are 133 million registered voters in the USA If every single registered voter went out and voted there would only be 59 million votes left for Biden," says a May 1, 2023 tweet with more than 13,000 interactions. "How did he get 81 million votes? I'll tell you how—It was RIGGED!!!"

Similar claims circulated on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and elsewhere on Twitter, reviving debunked allegations about fraud and irregularities in the presidential election.

<span>Screenshot of a tweet taken May 8, 2023</span>
Screenshot of a tweet taken May 8, 2023

The voter registration number cited in the recent posts is incorrect.

Each US state has its own voter rolls, but a January 2022 Census Bureau report (archived here) shows 168.3 million of 231 million citizens of voting age were registered ahead of the 2020 election.

A Federal Election Commission report (archived here) published in October 2022 using data from all 50 states shows Biden received 81.2 million votes, 51.3 percent of the ballots cast. Trump, meanwhile, won 74.2 million votes, constituting 46.8 percent of ballots.

Biden clinched the presidential race after earning 306 votes in the Electoral College -- 74 more than Trump.

AFP has fact-checked other false claims of voter fraud affecting the outcome of the 2020 election here.