FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims ‘Ballot Box’ Signs On Trash Cans In Philadelphia Were Meant To Trick Voters

Bradley Devlin | Reporter

An Instagram post purportedly shows someone disguising garbage cans in Philadelphia with “BALLOT BOX” signs in an attempt to suppress votes.


View this post on Instagram


Stay vigilant, people. They will try anything. Make sure you drop off your ballot to a legit ballot box. Make sure you check the next post.

A post shared by AGirlHasNoPresident (@agirlhasnopresident) on

Verdict: False

The signs were advertisements for a history exhibit on voting in America, not an attempt to suppress votes. They have since been taken down.

Fact Check:

The post shows a screen grab of a since-deleted Facebook post that contains photos of a man putting a “BALLOT BOX” sign on a garbage can placed along a Philadelphia street. The text accompanying the images reads, “This is a trash receptacle I have used many times on the corner of s 15th & Sansom….. This guy just plastered these ballot box signs on it. And he had more to plaster on other trash cans around downtown…”

The Instagram user that shared the screen grab appears to suggest that the photos show an attempt to suppress votes, saying, “Stay vigilant, people. They will try anything. Make sure you drop off your ballot to a legit ballot box. Make sure you check the next post.”

That is, however, a misrepresentation of the incident. The signs were advertisements from the Union League Legacy Foundation of Philadelphia’s exhibit titled “Ballot Box: America’s Fight for the Vote.” Kira Foley-Tuzman, the foundation’s chief administrative officer, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the signs were removed a couple later after they realized it could mislead voters.

“It was certainly not intended,” Foley-Tuzman said to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We immediately took them down and have been communicating nonstop to folks.” (RELATED: Does The License Plate On Joe Biden’s Corvette Say ‘The Big Guy’?)

In an Oct. 23 Facebook post, the Union League Legacy Foundation wrote, “We understand that there was confusion about the signs installed early this morning on trash receptacles about our exhibit on voting rights. The signs were removed. Please accept our apologies for any misunderstanding.”

The Union League Legacy Foundation post also includes an image of what the advertisements looked like, and it matches the sign on the trash can in the photo, as seen by the font used for the words “BALLOT BOX” and the check mark in the middle of the letter “o.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that sanitation workers checked the trash cans where the signs had been placed and found no ballots in them.

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

Bradley Devlin

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