A Twitter meme circulating says that, at some point last night, a huge "dump" of votes were counted which were exclusively for Biden, with none for Trump.

I was ready to dismiss this as a crackpot conspiracy, but it has been covered by not-completely-insane conservative blog The Federalist.

On the grounds that the Federalist doesn't (I think) just print complete rubbish, So is there any truth to this? And is there any legitimate explanation for how such a huge number of votes could exclusively have been for one candidate?

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    I did read a report that a figure ten times the actual count for a county was erroneously submitted in one state. The error was quickly corrected, however. (But note that questions about "current events" are generally off-topic.) Nov 5, 2020 at 1:56
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    @DanielRHicks Current events are off-topic if currently under investigation or ongoing, but it appears that this "event" specifically has already been resolved, which makes it no longer current.
    – gerrit
    Nov 5, 2020 at 9:09
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    In rebuttal of your categorization of "The Federalist" as not-completely-insane, it is still promoting the debunked statement you quote, not mentioning the rebuttal, and making evidence-free claims of vote fraud. Nov 7, 2020 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


No, it was due to a data entry mistake that was quickly corrected.

The screenshots showed a change in the vote tallies as they appeared on the elections map powered by Decision Desk HQ, an election data and analysis service. The photos appeared to show that in one update overnight, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden received a sudden influx of 138,339 votes in Michigan while other candidates received none. 

"An update gives Biden 100% of new votes — 128k+," said Matt Mackowiak, founder of a GOP political communications firm, in one of the first tweets that spotlighted the two screenshots.

Mackowiak later deleted his tweet, which Twitter had labeled as potentially misleading. "I have now learned the MI update referenced was a typo in one county," he wrote in a second tweet.

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    TLDR New US reports the typo was "153,710" when the correct number was "15,371" (and 153,710 - 15,371 = 138,339). Nov 7, 2020 at 10:05
  • Of course, the fact that a typo could inflate a vote count tenfold isn't exactly comforting. 😱
    – Kyralessa
    Dec 26, 2021 at 12:53
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    It inflated the media count for a few seconds. Corrected quickly and didn't affect the actual official count. We should be reassured. Dec 26, 2021 at 16:29
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    Exactly. "A typo was found and quickly corrected" is significantly more reassuring than a complete lack of errors reported -- because any system with humans involved at any point at all is going to have errors, and if none were reported it's probably not because none were made, just that none were found. Dec 27, 2021 at 8:18

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