FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims To Show A Seattle Protest To ‘Demand’ Mail-In Voting
The image shows a Black Lives Matter protest, not a protest to “demand” mail-in voting.
The image shows a screen grab of a tweet from an account impersonating the late news anchor Walter Cronkite. It claims the photo shows “thousands of Seattle Democrats” as they “gather to demand mail-in voting because it’s too dangerous to vote in-person.”
However, the image does not depict what the caption alleges. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the photo published on the website West Seattle Blog in an article about an early June Black Lives Matter demonstration. Photographer Paul Weatherman, who tweeted the image on June 6, is credited with taking it.
“Yes, the image is a photo from a June BLM protest,” Tracy Record, the editor of West Seattle Blog, confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact. (RELATED: When Did Black People Get The Right To Vote?)
Washington already sends every registered voter a ballot in the mail, according to the Washington Secretary of State’s website. The New York Times reported that eight other states and Washington, D.C., will also mail ballots to all registered voters ahead of the 2020 election.
The claim started circulating amid states encouraging voters to vote by mail in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as increased scrutiny on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). There have been concerns that the Trump administration’s opposition to additional funding for the USPS and operational changes to the postal service will make mail-in voting more difficult in the November election, according to BBC News.
U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Aug. 18 suspended operational changes to the postal service until after the election, the Wall Street Journal reported.