FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Election Workers In Pennsylvania’s Delaware County Committing Voter Fraud?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows election workers in Delaware County, Pennsylvania committing voter fraud by filling out blank ballots.

Verdict: False

The video shows election workers transcribing information from damaged ballots onto blank ballots so that they could be counted, according to the Delaware County Bureau of Elections.

Fact Check:

The zoomed-in video comes from a livestream of ballot counting in Pennsylvania’s Delaware County. In the video, an election worker in a dark-colored shirt appears to be filling out ballots while another worker sitting across the table holds other papers.

“Voter Fraud.” one Facebook page that posted the video claimed. “This lady has been at it an hour. Pennsylvania camera number 7.” (RELATED: There Have Been A Lot of Allegations Of Election Fraud. We Looked Into Them)

The video, however, does not show poll workers committing voter fraud. In a statement to Check Your Fact, the Delaware County Bureau of Elections explained that the workers were manually transcribing information from damaged ballots onto blank ballots so that the votes could be counted.

“During the processing of ballots, a machine extractor opens the ballots. Some ballots were damaged by the extractor during this process in such a way that the ballots could not be scanned successfully. According to the scanner manufacturer, Hart, the best practice to deal with damaged ballots that cannot be scanned is to transcribe the votes on each ballot to a clean ballot and scan the clean ballot,” the statement from the Delaware County Bureau of Elections said. “In accordance with that guidance, the Chief Clerk of the Delaware County Bureau of Elections instructed elections staff to manually transcribe the damaged ballots. As ballots were being transcribed, the original damaged ballots were directly beside the new ballots and bipartisan observers witnessed the process at close range. Damaged ballots have been preserved.”

Pennsylvania’s Election Code requires that “if any ballots or district total cards are damaged or defective so that they cannot be properly counted by the central automatic tabulating equipment, a true duplicate copy shall be made and substituted for any such damaged ballot or card.” The duplicate ballots must be clearly labeled as such and bear a serial number that is documented on the damaged or defective ballot, according to the code.

According to the statement from the Delaware County Bureau of Elections, the county has been livestreaming the ballot counting since Nov. 3 as a transparency measure. Delaware County spokesperson Adrienne Marofsky said the video being shared online crops out the bipartisan observers watching the workers from six feet away to make it seem like they weren’t being observed, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“Unfortunately, some residents have altered the video and are making false accusations, which baselessly and wrongly attack the integrity of the election staff and the completely transparent process by which votes are being counted in Delaware County,” the Bureau of Elections’ statement said.

County Council President Brian Zidek told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the same process was used in 2016 to count a smaller amount of mail-in ballots.

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Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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