FACT CHECK: No, 3,000 Ballots Were Not Found Floating In Lake Erie

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims 3,000 ballots were recently found floating in Lake Erie off the coast of Pennsylvania.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence thousands of ballots were found in Lake Erie. The claim originated from a satirical article.

Fact Check:

The Facebook user making the claim posted an image in the comments section of the Dec. 5 post that includes a link to an article published on the website Patrio Hat. The headline of the article reads, “Thousands of Ballots Found Floating In The Lake In Erie, Pennsylvania.”

“THIS IS IMPORTANT: Google scrubbed searches for this… 3000 ballots floating in Lake Erie PA,” the Facebook user wrote. “Only findable on duck duck go. MASSIVE VOTE/ELECTION Fraud is rampant.”

There is, however, no evidence thousands of ballots were found floating in Lake Erie off the coast of Pennsylvania. Had such a thing occurred, it would have been widely covered by the media, yet searching on Google and DuckDuckGo turned up no reporting from major news outlets. The Department of Justice and the FBI, which the article cites as investigating the alleged incident, have also not put out any press releases mentioning anything to that effect.

A discovery of ballots discarded in such a manner would likely prompt a statement from the Erie County Board of Elections as well. (RELATED: Viral Video Falsely Claims To Show A Technician Manipulating Voting Data In Georgia)

The Patrio Hat article appears to have been originally published on the website America’s Last Line of Defense, a parody news website that describes itself as creating “satire for your confirmation bias.” While America’s Last Line of Defense clearly disclaims that “everything on this website is fiction,” some websites republished the satirical story as if it were real, a common way misinformation spreads online.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr stated in early December that the Department of Justice found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the election’s outcome, The Associated Press reported. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency also issued a joint Nov. 12 statement from the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council Executive Committee and Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council that said there is “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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