Well, no, no I wasn’t. I expected a perfectly sane and common sense reason and just went on with life as expected. But apparently not everyone wanted to take no for an answer. LOL! So PolitiFact took it on and: The false claim that 100,000 Wisconsin voters registered more than 100 years ago
The short answer:
Wisconsin municipalities kept their own registration records — and the smallest municipalities weren’t required to keep records at all — until a 2002 federal law required a statewide database and a standard format.
When a municipality’s system didn’t track a voter’s date of birth or initial date of registration, a default date was entered into the statewide system: 1/1/1900 for date of birth and 1/1/1918 for date of registration. Such placeholders for missing information have been used by other states as well.
As of the fall of 2021 in Wisconsin, there were still about 3,700 active voter records that contain default information for date of birth and about 120,000 records exist in the system with a default date of voter registration.
Now to me, the first anomaly is in fact the dates. No one born in 1900 could have registered to vote in 1918. They would have had to wait until 1921. And 1920 would also have been the first year that any woman born on any date could have voted in the US. And believe me, if anyone in Wisconsin is voting at the age of 120, there would have been TV news reporters at the polls to interview them. Are there 3,700 people in Wisconsin who are 120 years old? What do you think?
But of course these odd dates open up all types of opportunities for conspiracy voyeurs to bear witness.
“The Wisconsin voter roll has over 120,000 active voters who have been registered to vote for over 100 years,” said the speaker in a Facebook video shared Jan. 7. “The margin of victory is 20,000. Yes that’s right: Biden beat Trump by 21,000 votes yet there are over 120,000 people in Wisconsin who are more than 100 years old and they are voters.”
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.
So back to the point, how did we get from there to here??
When a municipality’s system didn’t track a voter’s date of birth or initial date of registration, a default date was entered into the statewide system: 1/1/1900 for date of birth and 1/1/1918 for date of registration.
“Default dates of birth and voter registration dates in the WisVote database is not a newly discovered issue or an indication of voter fraud,” the state wrote in 2020. The older dates are a result of the state migrating over hundreds of municipal records into a state system.
Since 2006, many of these default dates have gone away, as voters move or update their names. The voter’s former record with the default dates would then be merged with the new record with updated information.
As of the fall of 2021, there were still about 3,700 active voter records that contain default information for date of birth and about 120,000 records exist in the system with a default date of voter registration.
The “…video clip said “the Wisconsin voter roll has over 120,000 active voters who have been registered to vote for over 100 years.”
This is inaccurate. There are about 120,000 records in Wisconsin’s voter database that show a default registration date of 1/1/1918, but this is not representative of voters who have been registered for 100 years. Rather, it’s the result of a data migration workaround that came about 16 years ago when Wisconsin merged its statewide database with municipal databases.
We rate this claim False.
And an after thought from this author…since rural small towns were the most likely to have manual and incomplete data systems…I would suggest that most of those still active voters are in RED areas of the state.