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.
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.
A “harmless data error” resulted in a glitch at some Detroit polling precincts that incorrectly registered some in-person voters as having already been issued an absentee ballot, the city elections department said. The issue was resolved, and ballot security safeguards are in place to prevent duplicated votes, it said.
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.
The role of parents in deciding school curriculum is a flash point in the Virginia gubernatorial race. Days before the election, bogus signs have appeared on streets and in social media posts reading, “Keep Parents Out of Classrooms,” and imply they were placed by Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. But McAuliffe and the local Democrats said, “these signs are not ours.”