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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Posts Mislead on Number of Election Day Votes in Maricopa County

Posts Mislead on Number of Election Day Votes in Maricopa County

About 540,000 voters went to polling places in Arizona’s Maricopa County on Election Day, including roughly 250,000 who voted in person and over 290,000 who dropped off mail-in and provisional ballots, according to election officials. But online posts falsely claim that while 540,000 voters went to the polls, county officials only counted 248,000 ballots. All the ballots were counted. 

Inaccurate TV Graphic Sparks Erroneous Claims of Election Fraud in Pennsylvania

Inaccurate TV Graphic Sparks Erroneous Claims of Election Fraud in Pennsylvania

Social media posts falsely suggest there was fraud in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, citing a TV graphic that showed Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano with nearly 500,000 more votes than Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro, but Mastriano trailing 41.6% to 56.6%. The graphic showed inaccurate numbers that were quickly corrected on air.

Posts Misrepresent How Florida Arrived at Quick Election Results

Posts Misrepresent How Florida Arrived at Quick Election Results

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.

Ballot Processing Continues in Closely Watched States Amid Unfounded Claims of Fraud

Ballot Processing Continues in Closely Watched States Amid Unfounded Claims of Fraud

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.

Posts Falsely Claim to Show Hobbs in Arizona Election Tabulation Room

Posts Falsely Claim to Show Hobbs in Arizona Election Tabulation Room

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.

Bogus ‘Sharpiegate’ Claim Resurfaces in Pennsylvania Election

Bogus ‘Sharpiegate’ Claim Resurfaces in Pennsylvania Election

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.”

Ballot Printer Delayed Maricopa Voting, Contrary to Unfounded Claims

Ballot Printer Delayed Maricopa Voting, Contrary to Unfounded Claims

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.

Counting Mail-In Ballots Delays Results, But Doesn’t Denote Fraud

Counting Mail-In Ballots Delays Results, But Doesn’t Denote Fraud

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.