Pennsylvania officials debunk claim that more than 100 ballots were thrown out
Officials in Pennsylvania were forced to debunk a viral story on Tuesday night that alleged misconduct in the election.
"Erie County has checked into the unfortunate claim being shared across social media by someone saying they are working as part of the Erie County Board of Elections and throwing out ballots," said Erie County Board of Elections Chair Carl J. Anderson III. "The person making the statements does not work in any way with Erie County or have any part of Erie County's election process. In fact, the individual is not a registered voter and is not believed to be a resident of Erie County, Pa."
He added: "I have spoken with Sheriff Loomis to verify if this person is a resident. Because this is now part of an ongoing investigation to pursue potential criminal charges, no further statement will be made on this matter."
The viral rumor appear to have begun on Instagram, according to Politifact. A user claiming to be a poll worker said in a post: "I've thrown out over a hundred ballots for Trump already!"
This unverified claim quickly made its way to Twitter, where it spread rapidly. But Erie County officials explained to Politifact that they were specifically debunking that claim.
The event was a useful lesson in the speed of misinformation and the need to rely on trusted sources for claims about the election. Other misinformation likewise proliferated on social media.