A claim that Democrat-led states where President Trump was winning stopped counting votes on election night has spread online. This allegation is being looked-up by officials as this can be considered as election meddling and is deemed illegal.
For many Americans, the night of the election was full of anxiety, and some even found it difficult to sleep. As the country awoke to a morning of uncertainty, misinformation about vote counting's integrity was spreading like wildfire.
Was there election meddling that happened?
Benny Johnson wrote in his Twitter account on November 4 that there is nothing wrong with asking why swing states that are run by democrats where President Trump is winning by massive margins had stopped counting for no reason at all. He added that this is considered as domestic election interference and election meddling.
Johnson then posted a screenshot with his concerns to his personal Instagram account after. However, numerous media sites and even state officials have debunked the claims made by Johnson.
Unfortunately, Johnson was not the only one asking these questions. Several posts went viral in the early hours of Election Day. According to USA Today, there is no evidence to suggest that Democrat-run states had stopped counting the ballots intentionally.
The downside of mail-in ballots
While mail-in ballots must be postmarked by November 4 in every state, there are still numerous states that accept them even if they arrive after the election.
Polls also show that Democrats were much more likely to vote by mail due to the pandemic, while Republicans were more likely to vote in person.
Many swing states announced before November 4 that they did not anticipate having votes counted that night, given the expected number of mailed-in ballots, combined with some states' laws. Experts also said that the results could take up to two weeks maximum due to the delay, according to Technology Review.
On October 28, the Supreme Court held that Pennsylvania could accept mail-in ballots up until November 6. The state's law prohibited election officials from counting the votes before 7 a.m. on Election Day.
Gov. Tom Wolf from the Democratic party said on November 5 that delays in counting might prevent a result announcement that day. Around 1.4 million mail-in ballots had yet to be counted as of the morning of November 5.
In Michigan, there were more than 3 million ballots cast by mail, according to NBC News. Several jurisdictions there did not start processing the ballots until Election Day.
Because of the delay, false claims that Pennsylvania stopped counting ballots had spread online. Investigative reported Max M. Marin's tweet confused when he wrote that there are no more mail ballot results on the night of the Election Day. He later deleted the tweet and immediately addressed the confusion.
Marin wrote that the Philadelphia City Commissioners say there will be no additional update on mail ballot votes on the night of November 4, but that does not mean ballot counting had stopped. It goes 24-7, but the update takes a while.
However, the New York Post had already reported the incident and sourced Martin's tweet. The headline was, "Philadelphia stops counting mail-in ballots for the night."
A Philadelphia City commissioner tried to clear up the confusion on Twitter on November 5 and said that the state would not stop counting all legitimate votes cast by eligible voters. According to Commission Al Schmidt, they will report until the last vote is counted.
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