FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A ‘Masked Man’ Cheating In The 2022 Midterm Elections?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims to show a “masked man cheating” in the 2022 midterm elections by writing something down from a sheet.

Verdict: False

The video shows a poll worker writing the ward number on a ballot, according to the Dane County Clerk. It does not show any election fraud.

Fact Check:

The midterm elections appeared to be closer than expected, with control of both chambers still undecided as of Nov. 9, according to CNN. Some polling places in Arizona and New Jersey reported issues, with the former becoming fuel for election fraud claims during the elections, The New York Times reported.

The Facebook video, which shows a man marking what appears to be ballots, claims to show election fraud. “Masked man cheating in front of the cameras on the mainstream media,” the post reads. “You can’t make it up.”

This claim, however, is false. Philadelphia City Commissioner Seth Bluestein stated on Twitter that it was not taken in Philadelphia, as some users claimed, and called the claim “dangerous misinformation.” The video actually shows a poll worker in Madison, Wisconsin, according to AP Fact Check. (RELATED: Republican And Democrats Claims About Social Security And Medicare)

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell provided Check Your Fact with a statement saying that the video “shows a poll worker initialing and indicating the ward number on the back of the ballot. A second poll worker will add their initials to each ballot just before handing the ballot to a voter.”

“The photo below is of the portion on the ballot that the poll worker was marking. It is done to indicate which ward the ballot is cast in,” the statement read. “The ward is circled and then that is initialed by the poll worker for verification purposes. He is marking that same spot on one side of each ballot – quite clearly not filling out a ballot from top to bottom.”

Provided by Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell

“This process is required by law and is a routine part of the check and balance process,” the statement continued. “It is done in a public setting and the ballot would then need to be signed by a different poll worker before being handed to the voter. This is how you can verify the ballot was issued by the city.”

Wisconsin law stipulates that at “polling places which utilize paper ballots or electronic voting systems in which ballots are distributed to electors, two inspectors shall be assigned to take charge of the official ballots. They shall write their initials on the back of each ballot and deliver to each elector as he or she enters the voting booth one ballot properly endorsed by each of them.”

Misinformation in the wake of the 2022 midterm elections has continued to circulate on social media. Check Your Fact recently corrected a video allegedly showing voters being turned away at a Texas polling place during early voting.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
Follow Elias on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].