Florida law allows election officials to start counting early in-person and mail-in ballots before Election Day. But social media posts falsely claim Florida counted all of its more than 7 million votes in five hours on Election Day and states that took longer committed “voter fraud.” Most states don’t allow vote counting to begin until Election Day or after polls close.
Close Senate races are underway in some states that have different laws regarding ballot deadlines and tabulation. But some high-profile Republicans — including former President Donald Trump — have suggested, without any evidence, that “they” are trying to “cheat.” Officials in those states say they are simply trying to count every legitimate vote.
An image shared on social media shows a woman with glasses and brown hair in an Arizona ballot tabulation room. The posts falsely identify the woman as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs, who is the secretary of state, implying that Hobbs was illegally influencing the count. The woman pictured is an election observer, not Hobbs.
Dominion voting machines have had no issues reading ballots filled out with Sharpie pens. But an Instagram video spread the false claim that ballots filled out with Sharpies could not be counted by voting machines in Pennsylvania’s 2022 election. A Pennsylvania Department of State spokesperson said the claim is “disinformation.”
Tabulating machines at some polling locations in Maricopa County, Arizona, couldn’t process ballots during part of Election Day, though affected voters could leave their ballots in a secure box or go elsewhere to vote. But some conservatives, including former President Donald Trump, made the unfounded claim that the setback indicated an attempt to “steal” the election.
Mail-in ballots have become a popular way to vote in the U.S. But the unfounded claim persists that mail ballots lead to rampant fraud and, if counted after Election Day, they are suspect. By law, many states don’t start counting mail ballots until after polls close, and some continue to accept them for days after Election Day if they are postmarked by that date.
Pennsylvania uses a “not verified” code on mail-in ballot applications if a voter’s identity couldn’t be immediately verified; voters have six days after an election to submit a valid ID. But an Instagram post and some Republican leaders — including former President Donald Trump — falsely claim the state has “sent out 249,000 ballots to unverified voters” and misleadingly suggest it will result in widespread fraud.
A man armed with a hammer broke into the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fractured the skull of her husband, Paul. Some conservative figures — including Donald Trump Jr. — have shared social media posts claiming with no evidence and contrary to police reports that the man was a prostitute known to Paul Pelosi. He wasn’t.
Millions of Arizona voters requested ballots to vote early in the 2022 election. Early voting results cannot be released until after the election, and ballot security measures prevent widespread voter fraud. Yet a viral video advises Republicans not to vote early, making the baseless claim that it could show Democrats how many votes they need “to fake” to win.