FACT CHECK: Were Thousands Of Ballots Discovered By Trash Collectors?

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook purports trash collectors discovered thousands of discarded ballots in New Mexico and California.

Verdict: Misleading

While the photos do show discarded ballots sent via mail, the images are from Oct. 2020 in New Jersey. The carrier was arrested.

Fact Check:

The Georgia Senate race between Democrat incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker will head to a runoff election scheduled for Dec. 6, according to CBS News. Approximately 10,000 mail-in ballots were rejected in large Texas counties for various reasons, The Houston Chronicle reported.

The post purports thousands of midterm ballots were found by trash collectors, including photos showing the alleged ballots strewn on the ground. “ELECTION22:” the post reads. “From L.A. County California, to Chavez County New Mexico, garbage collectors report finding thousands of midterm ballots in trash at hundreds of locations.” (RELATED: Did Top Military Leaders Apologize For Questioning The 2020 Election Following The 2022 Midterms?)

The caption is inaccurate. The ballots shown in the photos were first reported in Oct. 2020 and were discovered to have been discarded by a Hudson County, New Jersey, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier.  The mail carrier was arrested for discarding mail on Oct. 7, 2020.

There are no credible news reports suggesting ballots in New Mexico or Los Angeles County from the 2022 midterm elections were discarded. Approximately one dozen ballots from Santa Clara County in California were found in a mountain ravine, The Mercury News reported. More ballots were found along a South Bay highway, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

One account responsible for resharing these photos on Twitter is a self-identified satirical account. Their bio states, “Speculation News, because it’s all made up anyway,” the account’s bio reads in part.

This is not the first time a satirical content has been shared on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked a post claiming the U.S. Military discovered election fraud in Arizona.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter