FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims A Person Who Receives 4 Ballot Applications Can Vote 4 Times

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims a voter can vote four times because he received four vote-by-mail applications.

Verdict: False

The envelopes contain vote-by-mail applications, not ballots. A person who fills out multiple vote-by-mail applications will only be able to vote once, according to a spokesperson for the Michigan secretary of state.

Fact Check:

The image shows a screen grab of a Facebook user’s now-unavailable post containing a photo of four envelopes related to voting. The user, whose Facebook page indicates he lives in Michigan, captioned the photo, “WOOOHOOOO!!! I GET TO VOTE 4 TIMES THIS YEAR!!! Noooooo, voting by mail is completely safe, nothing can go wrong here…”

But the envelopes do not contain ballots. Each envelope, sent by the Center for Voter Information, contains a “Vote At Home Ballot Request Form,” as labeled in the photo. The Center for Voter Information is a nonpartisan group that seeks to “provide resources and tools to help voting-eligible citizens register and vote in upcoming elections,” according to its website.

In an emailed statement provided to Check Your Fact by a spokesperson, Center for Voter Information President and CEO Tom Lopach said that the organization “only mails ballot applications to registered voters.”

“CVI does not send out actual ballots,” his statement continued. “If the mail recipient in this Facebook post were to return all four ballot applications to his local election office, he would still only be allowed to vote once. All he would be doing is adding to the workload of local election officials.”

Lopach also added, “All the letters make clear that, if recipients already have requested a vote-by-mail ballot, they should simply disregard the CVI ballot application.” (RELATED: Does This Video Show Joe Biden Waving At An Empty Field?)

Tracy Wimmer, director of media relations for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, confirmed to Check Your Fact in an email that the man “would not be able to vote four times” with the vote-by-mail applications.

“Once a clerk receives an application from someone whose identity is verified and the signature on the application matches the one on file, it is marked in our Qualified Voter File that that person has requested an absentee ballot and then they are sent one once clerks begin their mailing,” Wimmer said. “They are not able to request multiples, as this process would flag that they had already requested a ballot any time their information was entered into the QVF.”

Michigan voters can find more information about voting on the “Michigan Voter Information Center” webpage.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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