FACT CHECK: Image Shows Human Error, Not Election Fraud In Pennsylvania

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows Democratic Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro with fewer votes, but a higher percentage than his Republican challenger Doug Mastriano.

Verdict: Misleading

The image shows incorrect numbers inputted by a third-party service provider. The numbers were corrected, according to a statement from the network.

Fact Check:

Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator, lost to Shapiro in the November 2022 gubernatorial by over 14 percent, according to NBC News. The state’s Lieutenant Gov., John Fetterman, defeated his Republican challenger, Mehmet Oz, for the state’s U.S. Senate seat, the outlet reported.

The Facebook image claims to show Shapiro with 56.6% of the vote despite having 370,706 votes, while Mastriano has 844,669 votes but only 41.6% of the vote. The image caption reads, “I’m from Minnesota and we saw this last night. Look at the percentage and then number votes. This is election fraud and the steal is on.”

The claim is misleading. The image shows a screenshot from the conservative broadcaster Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN). The broadcast shows the incorrect numbers, while the anchors acknowledged it and stated the numbers were incorrect.

The network released a statement Nov. 11 detailing how the incorrect numbers were shown and that it was a result of “human error.” (RELATED: Did RealClearPolitics Rescind Biden’s Win In Pennsylvania, Therefore Stripping Him Of His President-Elect Status?)

“During election night on Nov. 8, 2022, our third-party service provider, which was feeding our system with election data, had an issue with their servers,” the statement reads. “As a result, this caused us to need to manually input election numbers for the first five hours of our broadcast.”

The statement explained some numbers were incorrectly reported in the broadcast, which “were displayed on screen for just over a minute starting at 10:04 p.m. ET and ending at 10:05 p.m. ET.”

“Our talented anchors caught the error and corrected it on-air, informing everyone the graphic was incorrect and the numbers did not add up. We immediately took it off the air when it was brought to our attention,” the statement continued. “The numbers were incorrect compared to the actual numbers tabulated by the secretary of state of Pennsylvania.”

Mastriano conceded to Shapiro Nov. 13, according to NBC News. The former state senator called the results “difficult to accept” but acknowledged “there is no right course but to concede.”

Misinformation regarding the results of the Pennsylvania elections has circulated on Twitter following the 2022 midterms. Check Your Fact previously corrected a claim suggesting 52% of Fetterman’s votes were from mail-in ballots.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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