Were Ballots Found In The Trash In Pennsylvania? A Fact Check

Pennsylvania's Secretary of State said on September 30, 2020 that the incident was not being considered as "intentional fraud".

Multiple posts shared hundreds of times across social media platforms in South Korea in November 2020 claim military ballots cast for US President Donald Trump were found in a dumpster in the US state of Pennsylvania. Comments on the posts by some Korean users suggest they thought the discovery was evidence of election fraud. The posts, however, omit important context; several weeks before the US presidential election, Pennsylvania officials announced they recovered nine ballots "discarded" in "error" in September 2020, seven of which were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump; Pennsylvania's Secretary of State said on September 30, 2020 that the incident was not being considered as "intentional fraud" and investigations would continue into how the ballots were mistakenly discarded.

The claim was published here on Facebook on November 5, 2020.

The post features a screenshot of a news report by PJ Media headlined "[UPDATED] Military Ballots Found in the Trash in Pennsylvania-Most Were Tru…", and a photo showing two people emptying a box of mail-in ballots.

The Korean-language post translates to English as: "Military mail-in ballots found in a dumpster in Pennsylvania -- all votes for Trump.

"Mail-in ballots of military personnel deployed abroad have been found in a dumpster in Pennsylvania.

"The ballots were found during an investigation into voting systems in Luzerne County in Pennsylvania state.

"They all voted for President Trump."

Also Read: Trump Falsely Claims Votes Cast For Him In Penn Were Switched To Biden

Some of the comments on the Facebook post showed that users believed the discarded ballots was evidence of voter fraud.

One user wrote: "This shows that the Democrats and Biden have committed fraud. Why isnt the US FBI arresting Biden!"

Another commented: "Fraudulent Democrats must fall. China laughs at the US.... Do you think Trump is going to give up his seat easily? Prepare to die, you communists."

Screenshot of comments on misleading Facebook post, captured on November 12, 2020

A similar claim was also shared here, here and here on Facebook and here on Naver Blog.

The posts, however, omit important context.

Officials in Luzerne County opened an investigation into the discarded ballots several weeks before the US election and have found no evidence of fraud as of November 13, 2020.

Regarding the discarded ballots, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said in an online press conference on September 30, 2020: "The situation was not intentional fraud.

"The investigation is still going on, but from the initial reports we've been given, this was a bad error."

In this statement issued to the media on September 25, 2020, Luzerne County said a "temporary seasonal independent contractor" had "incorrectly discarded" the ballots. "The temporary independent contractor was removed from service and informed not to return," the statement reads.

Also Read: No, Donald Trump And Homeland Security Did Not Watermark Ballots

The US attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced on September 24, 2020 that his office and the FBI had opened an investigation into "potential issues with a small number of mail-in ballots" in Luzerne County.

The press release states that seven of the nine recovered ballots were cast for Trump.

It reads, in part: "We can confirm that a small number of military ballots were discarded. Investigators have recovered nine ballots at this time. Some of those ballots can be attributed to specific voters and some cannot.

"Of the nine ballots that were discarded and then recovered, 7 were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump. Two of the discarded ballots had been resealed inside their appropriate envelopes by Luzerne elections staff prior to recovery by the FBI and the contents of those 2 ballots are unknown."

Below is a screenshot of the statement:

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by BOOM staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Updated On: 2020-11-13T16:05:30+05:30
Claim :   Military ballots cast for Donald Trump were found in a dumpster in Pennsylvania.
Claimed By :  Social media posts
Fact Check :  Misleading
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