FACT CHECK: Did Queens Residents Receive ‘Pre-Filled Out’ Ballots?

Varun Hukeri | General Assignment & Analysis Reporter

A post shared on Facebook over 500 times claims voters in the New York City borough of Queens received ballots “pre-filled out” for Democratic candidates.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence voters in Queens are receiving pre-marked ballots. The New York City Board of Elections called the claim false, stating that the voter received a blank ballot and it appeared to have been filled out by hand.

Fact Check:

Social media users have been sharing an image of a Queens general election ballot purportedly pre-marked for the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The image caption originates from an Oct. 29 tweet posted by Twitter user Jake Novak, who describes himself on Twitter as, among other things, a freelance editorial columnist for CNBC.

“BREAKING NEWS: Several Queens Village (NY) residents are receiving pre-filled out ballots for Joe Biden and being told to just send them back to the Board of Elections,” the tweet and caption read. “This is blatantly ILLEGAL.”

The Facebook page that shared the image, New York for Donald Trump 2020 — which is not affiliated with the campaign, per its own disclaimer — asks, “What is going on with New York?” (RELATED: Viral Post Falsely Claims 23% Of Mail-In Ballots In Miami-Dade County Were Rejected For Missing Signatures)

Novak posted a video examining the purportedly pre-filled out ballot to his Twitter account on Oct. 29. In the video, Novak alleged that the ballot had been marked for every Democratic candidate and that it appeared to have been done by a stamp or machine. The video also include the voter ID number.

The New York City Board of Elections called the claim “false” in a pair of Oct. 30 tweets, noting that it “looks like it was filled out by hand and we have previously stated we have not received any reports of this happening.”

Election officials confirmed the pictured ballot had been sent to an absentee voter in California. The voter mistakenly used the wrong envelope when they placed it in the mail, resulting in it being sent to the person’s previous address in Queens rather than the board of elections, according to Snopes.

“This is the height of irresponsibility to continue to make these false claims,” tweeted the New York City Board of Elections. “We have communicated directly with the voter in question, who received a BLANK absentee ballot. This is simply untrue!”

Varun Hukeri

General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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