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Trust Index: Are ‘illegal’ votes being counted?

Election officials say vote counting continuing as normal, claim unfounded

Election officials in states across the country are releasing vote totals for the presidential election, some question the ballots being counted after Election Day.

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“I easily win the Presidency of the United States with legal votes cast,” President Trump posted on Twitter.

Twitter flagged the President’s tweet, saying “you may not use Twitter services for the purposes of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes.”

Later in the day, Florida Senator Marco Rubio posted on Twitter.

“Votes cast after the deadline in state law are not legally cast votes,” Rubio said.

Here’s a look at the facts:

CLAIM:

Votes counted right now are illegal because they did not reach election offices by Election Day and the counting underway right now is not what’s usually expected at this point during an election.

THE FACTS:

State Elections Offices allow election observers from both parties to watch the tabulation of ballots, and those offices follow their pre-determined order for counting ballots, which can vary by state.

It’s important to point out that ballot counting laws vary by state, meaning states count ballots in different orders and at different times.

In Pennsylvania, Republican-led legislators would not allow any processing of ballots before Election Day. That meant mail-in ballots couldn’t be canvassed until 7 a.m. on election day when the polls open.

To give you some perspective, Florida, which was called for President Trump early Wednesday morning, began processing and canvassing early voting and vote-by-mail ballots 22 days before Election Day. Florida Election Offices are currently counting provisional, military, and corrected signature ballots

In an interview on Oct. 30, Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles said right after 7 p.m. on Election Day, they were allowed to release results.

He said the early voting is done on the Sunday night before Election Day, meaning they would have 100% of those numbers by the time polls closed.

In terms of the vote-by-mail ballots, Cowles said they’ve been processing those, and about 95% of those completed

With Georgia’s razor-thin results, the Georgia Secretary of State said their focus right now is on absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day, which can be received until 5 p.m. Friday, and nearly 9,000 military and overseas ballots waiting to come in.

Not True

After review, we've found this information is Not True.

What is the Trust Index?

The following statement is from Nevada’s Election website:

“An unknown number of ballots currently in the U.S. Postal Service mail stream that contain a postmark dated Nov. 3 or earlier that will ultimately be counted if they arrive by 5:00 pm on November 10.”

“Election workers around the state are working with integrity to ensure every legal ballot is counted,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said.


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