Politics Fact check: False claim that photo of discarded mail shows ballots cast for Trump
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The claim: A photo shows mail-in ballots cast for President Donald Trump discarded on the side of a road
Amid mounting concern about the role of mail-in ballots in the upcoming election, one social media user posted a photo of dozen boxes of mail discarded on the side of the road.
"Boy oh boy, there finding thrown away Trump ballets (sic) everywhere now, California, Texas, n Pennsylvania," Kimberly C. Lecroyon Facebook alongside the image. "How does the USPO explain this??"
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The topic of mail-in voting has been a point of focus and controversy throughout the 2020 election season. President Donald Trump has consistently "warned" Americans about the dangers and frauds that are attached to mail-in voting through the use of false information and the distortion of the mail-in voting practice. © Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty A woman holds up a mail-in ballot during the Massachusetts state primary on September 1 in Boston. On the other hand, Democrats have expressed their belief in Trump's motivation to depress voter turnout rather than to prevent voter fraud.
Lecroy did not respond to a request from USA TODAY for comment.
The photo is real, but it's from 2018, and Trump wasn't on the ballot
In reality, the photo Lecroy posted is unrelated to the 2020 election.
The imageon Facebook on Sept. 30, 2018, when a user posted it with the caption, "If your looking for your mail it maybe on river road by 36st station..."
That post was shared thousands of times, prompting U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent Scott Balfour to investigate the incident, per.
Balfour concluded the mail had been out for delivery from the Roxborough Station Post Office in Philadelphia on Aug. 8, 2018, when the worker who was tasked with dropping it off decided instead to dump it on the side of the road.
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How many people have already voted? And what does that tell us about the election?The early vote in 2020 has already far surpassed the total early vote in 2016. The early vote surge indicates turnout in 2020 could be the highest in a century, at around 65 percent of the voting-eligible population, or about 150 million voters.
Agents tracked down the employee who threw out the mail, but learned that employee had already resigned on Sept. 8, 2018.
"We do not anticipate any further action against this individual," Balfour said at the time. "The Roxborough Station Post Office is going to deliver the mail."
It's impossible that there were any ballots for President Donald Trump in the batch of mail; he was not up for reelection in 2018.
Seven Trump ballots discarded in Pennsylvania, none in California or Texas
Independent of the photo, Lecroy claims in her post that ballots for Trump have been found "thrown away ... everywhere now," including California, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
In reality, there have been no true reports of ballots for Trump discarded in California or Texas.
Claims that, for example, were false, because the materials were actually empty envelopes from a previous election, recycled after the mandated ballot preservation period.
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Hundreds of thousands of people are detained at local jails across the U.S. While most are eligible to vote, many face 'de facto' disenfranchisement.Greene, who's awaiting trial on burglary charges, is one of the more than 600 voters in New York City's Department of Correction custody who registered to vote this year.
The one report of discarded ballots in Pennsylvania was not related to the U.S. Postal Service, as Lecroy suggests.
On Sept. 24, theannounced that nine military ballots were incorrectly discarded in Luzerne County. Seven of the nine were found in a dumpster outside of their envelopes, all of which were marked as votes for Trump.
Luzerne County removed the temporary contractor who made the error while sorting ballots and cooperated with the FBI to recover the ballots from the dumpster, per
Until the announcement from the Justice Department, Pedri wrote that he was unaware the ballots in question had been cast for Trump.
He maintained that the system is safe.
“While the actions of this individual has cast a concern, the above statement shows that the system of checks and balances set forth in Pennsylvania elections works,” Pedri wrote. “An error was made, a public servant discovered it and reported it to law enforcement at the local, State and Federal level who took over to ensure the integrity of the system in place.”
Fact check: Trump told moderator to 'go ahead,' not that separated families are 'good'
Amid immigration debate, one word from President Donald Trump stood out to users on social media: "Good." The only issue? He didn't say it.The clash centered around court filings from earlier this week that revealed that the parents of 545 immigrant children separated at the border have not been found.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, the claim that a photo shows mail-in ballots cast for President Donald Trump discarded on the side of a road is FALSE. As for the remainder of the Facebook post, our research did not reveal discarded Trump ballots in California or Texas. Seven discarded ballots for Trump were found in Pennsylvania after an error by a temporary contractor, not the U.S. Postal Service.
Our fact-check sources:
- Kewnoneal Bennett, Sept. 30 2018,
- Newsweek, Oct. 4, 2018,
- USA TODAY, Sept. 30,
- U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Sept. 24, 2020,
- David Pedri, Sept. 25, 2020,
- CheckYourFact, Oct. 12,
- Lead Stories, Oct. 5,
- NJ.com, Jan. 29, 2019,
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Hillary Clinton joins Electoral College 4 years after it cost her the presidency: 'Pretty sure I'll get to vote for Joe'
Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, is one of 29 Democratic electors for New York state in 2020.The Electoral College is comprised of 538 delegates: People who cast the votes that formally elect the president. It's a system that tends to give smaller states a larger voice in the process of electing the president, and one that Clinton has publicly opposed in the past.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
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A video from Project Veritas relies on unnamed sources, covert footage and uncorroborated translations from Somali. We rate its claims as false.The 17-minute video relies on unnamed sources, covert footage and uncorroborated translations from Somali to English to allege that canvassers for Omar and for City Council candidate Jamal Osman paid for votes in a recent election.