Ward 235 recorded a total of 1,768 votes – divided into 1,391 for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and 339 for President Donald Trump. However, data by the Milwaukee city election commission based on the 2010 census results showed that the ward only had a voting-eligible population of 1,680. In other words, votes coming from Ward 235 comprised 105 percent of voters there.
Wards 93, 177, 183 and 186 also had an unusually high turnout this year – ranging from 92 to 97 percent. They represent nearly 8,000 ballots cast, with almost three-quarters for Biden. Several other wards in the same geographic area as the five earlier ones also reported similar vote increases. Wards 234 and 241 reported an increase of 44 percent, Ward 178 saw an increase of almost 33 percent and vote count in Ward 187 rose to almost 37 percent. The four other wards accounted for more than 4,300 ballots, with more than 3,400 cast for the former vice president.
Milwaukee County spokesman Brian Rothgery explained that voter turnout could exceed 100 percent "when a ward contains only a couple [of] households and a resident of that ward turns 18 prior to Election Day, and [they weren't] included in the eligible voter population."
However, this was unable to explain the 105 percent turnout at Ward 235. "I can't explain why voter participation increased in certain wards other than campaigns were able to successfully motivate more people to vote in those wards than in previous years," Rothgery told The Epoch Times via email. He subsequently directed questions about Milwaukee's data to city authorities.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times: "The Milwaukee County Election Commission wants all eligible voters to register and exercise their right to vote. In 2020, we continued to educate voters about the process for registering to vote in advance of the 2020 general election."
Christenson added that he was "thrilled that so many people cast a ballot in the general election," remarking: "More people voting is an indication of a healthy democracy." (Related: Wisconsin authorities recover trove of pro-Trump ballots that were discarded in a ditch.)
Wisconsin is among the battleground states where Biden had a significant lead against Trump. The president's campaign is contesting the results, and has requested recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties following allegations of "illegally altered [and] issued absentee ballots, and illegal advice given by government officials allowing Wisconsin's Voter ID laws to be circumvented." The Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) agreed to the request Nov. 18 after a lengthy argument between its three Democrat and three Republican members. (Related: System "glitch" in Wisconsin swapped Trump votes with Biden's, giving Biden a spontaneous "win".)
Prior to this, the WEC sent notices to more than 230,000 voters in 2019 urging them to confirm their registration – as some of them may have moved. The commission was supposed to deactivate the registrations of more than 200,000 who did not respond as per state law, but decided not to do so in mid-2020.
The right-leaning nonprofit Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) sued WEC in June to force it to comply with the law, but the case had not been resolved in time for the Nov. 3 elections. WILL spokesman Collin Roth told The Epoch Times via email that the group's case is pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.