Five Unfounded Conspiracy Theories for the 2022 Election | CNN Politics
False allegations and conspiracy theories about voting and the electoral process spread on social media as Americans cast their ballots on Tuesday.
The disinformation was driven by Republicans. Former President Donald Trump and other prominent right-wing figures have taken advantage of technical problems in some key states to baselessly suggest intentional wrongdoing. Trump also made a baseless allegation of mass voter fraud.
Here’s a look at some of the early false and misleading claims. This article will be updated as CNN validates additional claims.
Trump, who has repeatedly claimed that there was mass voter fraud in the 2020 election, baselessly suggested on social media on Tuesday that such fraud could occur in the mid-term of 2022.
“The same thing happens with voter fraud as happened in 2020???” The former president wrote Tuesday afternoon on his Truth Social.
There was no evidence of widespread fraud or altering results in the 2020 election, and there was no early sign on Tuesday of any significant voter fraud in the 2022 midterm elections. Voter fraud typically represents a small percentage of the vote cast in an election. American.
Trump made his claim on Tuesday amid a series of social media posts complaining about various technical difficulties in some states. There was no evidence that any of these cases involved willful wrongdoing, let alone “voter fraud”.
Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county, tweeted that a prominent Republican figure on Election Day falsely claimed about vote waiting times.
Charlie Kirk, founder and president of the right-wing group Turning Point USA, chirp Tuesday to his 1.8 million followers: “Two hours minimum wait at most polling stations in Maricopa. Democrats running elections here knew this was going to happen. Traffic jams by design. Don’t let them do 2020 again. Wait in line and vote.”
The tweet was completely inaccurate.
Maricopa County elections are not run by Democrats: the chief election officer, Registrar Stephen Richer, and the chair of the Board of Supervisors, Bill Gates, are both Republicans. and county online waiting times tracker show up Dozens of polling sites there were waiting less than five minutes, including many without waiting times at all. Voters in the county are allowed to vote in Whatever site they choose.
Maricopa County had technical problems on Election Day with scheduling devices at about 20% of its voting sites, according to county officials Tuesday morning. The problem prompted officials to Ask the affected voters To put their ballot in a safe sorting box, wait until the scheduling issues are resolved, or go vote at another county location. (Richer released a file afternoon statement He said the Board of Supervisors had identified the problem and had “began to fix the affected voting sites”. He promised that “every legal vote will be scheduled”).
But there was no indication of willful wrongdoing.
Maricopa County He said In her tweet in response to Kirk’s tweet: “No part of the tweet below is accurate. The vast majority of polling stations see wait times of less than 30 minutes, and whether it’s by a scheduler or a secure ballot box, all voters are served.”
Conspiracy theorists are warning voters to “check for WiFi names” and connections in and out of their polling sites, a new iteration of a fake conspiracy that voting machines are connected to the internet and can alter votes remotely.
“Check Wifi connections, inside and outside polling sites. Election devices must not be connected to the Internet. Take a screenshot of whistleblowing for investigation,” read One tweet.
Calls on social media sites such as Telegram and Twitter echo previous debunked conspiracy theories that voting machines are connected to the Internet, allowing manipulation by vandals or third-party election officials to alter votes from one candidate to another.
In fact, the “voting machines” that identify ballot papers are usually not directly connected to the Internet, despite the cries of electoral conspiracy theorists. Large voting systems can be connected to the Internet, often to use election management software used to program and test the hardware, but this is supposed to happen before voting.
Polling sites in many states use WiFi to access electronic ballot books to verify voter eligibility.
On Tuesday, there were sporadic incidents of those electronic ledgers — laptops used by election workers to ensure voter registration — not working at polling sites in Detroit, Michigan, due to computer problems, but they did not prevent any voters from voting.
The “voting machines” that determine the ballot papers are not actually connected directly to the Internet. But the supporting parts that make up the voting process can be – eg election management software that is used to pre-program voting machines.
– Im Steak and Olivia Fries
Trump urged his followers to “protest,” and the Republican candidate for Michigan’s Secretary of State falsely claimed that “fraud” was to blame for what officials called a “harmless data error” in Detroit.
By the time Trump came, the Michigan State Department had already addressed what had happened at select Detroit polling places and said a decision had been made. This fix was sent to the departments by 11am
Even when the situation was still under review, “voters were always able to vote,” Michigan State Department spokesman Jake Rouleau told reporters Tuesday. “At no time was there any inability, to treat a voter who attended,” he said.
Rouleau said there were “two reports” of separate issues with electronic ballot books in some areas in Detroit. E-ballot books are portable computers with a stable download of the voter registration list, Rollo said. When voters arrive at the polling place, election workers register them in the electronic ballot book to ensure that they are registered, in the right-hand district, and that they have not actually voted for the absentees. Rouleau said polling sites have back-up paper copies for voter screening.
In a statement, the Detroit Department of Elections explained that some electronic polling books showed an incorrect message that “the ballot number has already been issued as an absentee voter ballot,” due to a “harmless data error,” but that it didn’t mean that any Someone was trying to vote twice.
Regardless, Christina Caramo, the Republican nominee for Michigan Secretary of State, is a lie chirp That there is “fraud” and “crime” taking place.
On his Truth Social account, Trump has falsely said, “The situation for absentee voting in Detroit is really bad. People turn up to vote only to be told, ‘Sorry, I actually voted.’ It’s happening in droves, in other places too. Protest, protest. protest!”
Rouleau explained that sometimes the same numbers are used for in-person and absentee ballots because they are separate sets of ballots, and technology is supposed to ignore them.
He said that if poll workers encountered this problem, they were instructed to mark the ballot paper with an “X” to indicate that the ballot was issued in person.
Rouleau said some voters affected earlier in the morning had given a provisional ballot. He said temporary ballot papers will be counted as if they were ordinary ballot papers and voters would not have to take any further action.
“The protections were really in place and always to protect anyone from voting twice,” Rollo said later in the afternoon, adding that it “couldn’t happen in this situation.”
– Annie Grayer and Nikki Brown
A Wisconsin election official has dismissed allegations on social media that a polling official who appeared in a news segment was improperly filling out ballot papers.
The man is shown in footage of a polling station broadcast on Fox News, sitting at a table with a stack of ballot papers in front of him, looking from side to side as he turns pages and marks documents with his pen.
People on social media criticized the man’s actions, wondering if he was doing something illegal.
But a county clerk in Dane County, Wisconsin, told CNN he looked into the incident and determined that the man in the video was a polling official who was signing initials and indicating the ward number on the back of the ballots, in preparation for the ballots to be distributed to voters.
“This process is required by law and is part of the check and balance process,” Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell said in an email.
Some social media posts about the video also mistakenly suspected the incident took place at a polling station in Philadelphia, but a Philadelphia County spokesperson confirmed to CNN that it did not happen at a polling station in the city.
– Blake Ellis
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