Photo of Unopened Mail-in Ballots Shared as ‘Dumped’ Trump Votes
The ballots were neither opened nor filed and were later returned by the local police to to the addressees.
The photo of several mail-in ballots for the US presidential elections lying on the ground in Arizona has gone viral on social media with a claim that they were votes for incumbent President Donald J Trump, and were dumped on the road.
However, we found that the mail-in ballots seen in the photo were never opened or filed.
The caption with the image reads, “These are ballot papers stamped by Trump voters found dumped by side of road in Arizona. It's a naked show by Liberals & Lefties in the US. The level of votes rigging in US which no Data Analytics can calculate”.
The photo was shared by multiple users on Facebook and Twitter.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
Upon conducting a reverse image search and going through the results, we found a link to a statement published on 3 November 2020 in the Arizona Attorney General’s website. The page had the same viral image and the statement was titled, “Attorney General’s Office and Glendale Police Department Return Stolen Ballots”.
The report stated that authorities had found 18 unopened mail-in ballots that were stacked under a rock in Glendale, Arizona on Friday, 30 October. The ballots were reportedly stolen from individual mailboxes, the Attorney General’s website said.
Glendale police department put out a video on Facebook with Brayan Ruiz, the person who found the ballots while he was at work. In the second half of the video, officers can be seen returning the ballots to the people from whom they were stolen.
Arizona was one of the states in which the race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was close till the end. Several media houses called the results in favour of Biden on 7 November. President Trump is yet to concede as of 11 November and has filed several lawsuits alleging voter fraud and manipulation.
Evidently, a photo of unopened and stolen mail-in ballots was shared with a false claim that they were votes for Donald Trump.
We, at The Quint’s WebQoof, have done several other fact-checks around the 2020 US presidential elections that can be found here.
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