FACT CHECK: Viral Video Claims To Show Ballots From New Jersey’s Nov. 3 Election In Gloucester County Recycling Bins

Mecca Fowler | Contributor

A video shared on Twitter purportedly shows ballots from the recent election thrown out in recycling bins outside the Gloucester County Office of Elections building in New Jersey.

Verdict: False

None of the papers in the recycling bins had any “viable election use,” according to the Gloucester County clerk’s office. They were envelopes, instructional inserts and spoiled ballots that had been brought in by constituents for replacement.

Fact Check:

In the video, a man appears to open what look like green recycling bins, where papers of different colors, some shredded, can be seen in boxes. The footage, purportedly showing discarded ballots in Gloucester County, has circulated along with claims suggesting election fraud in New Jersey’s elections last week.

The papers found in the bins, however, were “not viable for any electoral use,” according to a statement from the Gloucester County clerk’s office. (RELATED: Did Georgia’s Fulton County Identify 132,000 ‘Likely Ineligible’ Ballots?)

“This office was contacted by the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office in regard to an investigation against several individuals that were shown on a social media video rummaging through recycling containers outside of the Gloucester County Office of Elections on the evening of November 3, 2021,” the statement from the clerk’s office says. “These individuals were incorrectly claiming election fraud.”

Items placed in the recycling bins Nov. 3 by staff members included three boxes of “outdated instructional inserts illustrating how to complete and return a Vote by Mail ballot” from the 2021 general election and one box of “outdated yellow business reply mail envelopes” from the 2021 primary election, according to the Gloucester County clerk’s office statement. There was also one bag of “shredded green certificate envelopes from some undeliverable 2021 General Election ballots that were returned by the USPS” and some spoiled ballots that were “brought in by constituents for replacement” due to being “torn, damaged, or incorrectly marked,” the statement added.

“These items have no viable election use and were discarded in accordance with the law,” the Gloucester County clerk’s office reiterated at the end of the statement.

Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy narrowly beat out his Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli to win a second term of office, the Associated Press reported. Ciattarelli has not conceded the election at this time, but his campaign said in a Nov. 8 statement that “no one on this team is alleging fraud or malfeasance, as we have not seen any credible evidence of that.”

Mecca Fowler