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Folded Mail-In-Ballots Do Not Indicate Election Fraud In California

Maxim Sorokopud Maxim Sorokopud
23rd August 2021
Folded Mail-In-Ballots Do Not Indicate Election Fraud In California
Selections on the ballots are nowhere near a paper fold (Getty Images).

The Claim

The upcoming California governor recall election is being rigged due to ballot folding and “the postman hack.”

Emerging story

A recent article on the website Gateway Pundit claimed to provide examples of Democrats instituting election fraud in the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election. This article stated that a paper fold over the Republican candidate Larry Elder’s vote space would prevent his votes from being counted in vote scans. A second example is something that the article refers to as the “postman hack” without providing further elaboration upon how this proposed method of fraud works. 

This article has since gained significant attention online. Elder, the candidate for governor, has tweeted the article. His tweet gained thousands of interactions within 24 hours. Other posts sharing the article as evidence of election fraud have gained hundreds of interactions. 

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation could find no evidence of folded ballots causing a candidate to lose votes. In fact, the only instance of voting irregularities in regards to folded ballots that we could identify benefitted the candidate whose voting space was within the paper fold of a mail-in ballot. This occurred in a New Hampshire election in 2020 when the voting machines read paper folds as a vote for a candidate. It should be highlighted that this was not a deliberate attempt at election fraud and the issue was corrected.

Additionally, the fold in the mail-in ballots are unlikely to create election fraud, as the part of the ballot which is folded does not determine if the recall election is successful. The section of the ballot that needs to be checked for the vote to proceed is a section that asks voters to check either “YES” or “NO” for removing Governor Gavin Newsom from office, which would need 50% or more of the vote to be successful. Images of the ballots show that this part of the ballot does not appear near a paper fold. Therefore, if someone were to vote “YES” at removing Newsom from office, the vote would still count. Sources have confirmed that this would be the case, even if the selection of the individual candidate was left blank. 

California's official ballot (Getty Images).

Therefore, votes to remove Newsom from office still count, even if the section highlighting the replacement is not selected. If anything, the paper fold would initially appear to benefit Elder (although, if paper folds did affect the ballot, this would almost definitely be detected.) 

Additionally, we could find no information that elaborated on the alleged “postman hack.”

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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