On Saturday, Columbus NBC affiliate WCMH reported that the Franklin County Board of Elections is investigating a claim that “tens of thousands” of fraudulent ballots pre-marked for Democrat Hillary Clinton were allegedly found by a maintenance worker inspecting a warehouse.
According to the report, the worker came across 12 sealed ballot boxes filled with thousands of votes for the upcoming general election.
The report appears to have originated at a site called the Christian Times Newspaper. According to that report:
According to sources, Randall Prince, a Columbus-area electrical worker, was doing a routine check of his companies wiring and electrical systems when he stumbled across approximately one dozen black, sealed ballot boxes filled with thousands of Franklin County votes for Hillary Clinton and other Democrat candidates.
So when Prince, who is a Trump supporter, saw several black boxes in an otherwise empty room, he went to investigate. What he found could allegedly be evidence of a massive operation designed to deliver Clinton the crucial swing state.
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The report provides no links nor does it name any of its sources.
“Christian Times Newspaper has not yet been able to obtain a photocopy of one of the ballots found inside the box, but an affiliate in Ohio passed along a replica of what was found,” the article added, providing no link to the “affiliate” it mentioned.
It turns out there’s a very good reason for that.
The Franklin County Board of Elections says that a preliminary investigation shows that the article is fake, and the photo portrayed as the worker standing with the ballot boxes was lifted from a 2015 article in the Birmingham Post, an English newspaper, and altered slightly, with some of the ballot boxes repositioned and resized, and some of the labels blurred out.
Elections officials would like to remind everyone that absentee voting in the state does not start until Oct. 12. The Board of Elections says that no ballots have been printed or mailed, except for those that were requested by members of the military and US citizens who live abroad.
Snopes — a left-of-center site we have had issues with in the past — also debunked the story.
Sadly, a Google search shows that a number of sites are repeating the story.
What’s even sadder is that this story is quite believable and the original source doesn’t provide a disclaimer that it’s satire.
The moral of the story is this: Double-check everything. There’s enough skullduggery going on without fake garbage like this being spread over the Internet.
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