FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Ballots Cast For Trump Being Burned?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows a man lighting ballots cast for President Donald Trump on fire.

Verdict: False

The burned pieces of paper were sample ballots, not ballots cast for Trump, according to the city of Virginia Beach.

Fact Check:

The short video depicts someone off-camera throwing a plastic bag filled with alleged ballots cast for Trump on the ground. He then lights the bag on fire. “I’ve got around 80,” he says while the fire burns. “You work at the mail or polling place, you gotta do what you gotta do.”

“Video of a man burning up Trump ballots and bragging about it,” the Facebook post’s caption states. “He implies he works at a mail or polling place and gives impression (sic) that many others did this too, like it was their job to destroy Trump ballots.”

However, the video does not actually show a poll worker burning ballots cast for Trump. A screen grab from the video showed that the papers being burned were actually sample ballots from Virginia Beach. The city addressed the claim in an “Election Brief” shared on its website on the evening of Nov. 3. (RELATED: Viral Video Falsely Claims Ballots Marked With Sharpie Were Invalidated In Arizona)

“A concerned citizen shared a video with us that ostensibly shows someone burning ballots,” the statement reads. “They are NOT official ballots, they are sample ballots. See the attached freeze frame image and photo of the official ballots, which have the bar codes.”

Trump’s son, Eric Trump, shared a tweet featuring the video on Nov. 4, per CNN. The Twitter account for Virginia Beach responded to the younger Trump’s tweet saying, “Those were sample ballots. Addressed this yesterday.”

The account that first shared the video has since been suspended on Twitter for violating the platform’s rules, the outlet reported.

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

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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