Did a Poll Worker in Pennsylvania Throw Away Trump Ballots?

A viral tweet, now deleted, and other social media posts claim to show the Instagram story of a poll worker named Sebastian Machado in Erie, Pennsylvania, who admitted to throwing away ballots cast for President Trump. The claim received wide coverage thanks to a retweet from the Trump presidential campaign.

The Dispatch Fact Check verified the authenticity of the image before Machado made his account private. However, Machado is not actually av poll worker. “Sebastian is not registered in the state of Pennsylvania … he has no connection to any of us,” a representative from the Erie County Voter Registration Office told The Dispatch Fact Check in an interview. What’s more, voters in Erie County, Pennsylvania, submit their ballots directly into a machine that counts them, meaning poll workers don’t have access that would allow them to dispose of them in the first place. 

Erie County’s Voter Registration Office has not seen any real examples of poll worker tampering thus far today. “It’s been very, very busy, but smooth sailing,” the Voter Registration Office representative said.

If you have a claim you would like to see us fact check, please send us an email at factcheck@thedispatch.com. If you would like to suggest a correction to this piece or any other Dispatch article, please email corrections@thedispatch.com.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 U.S. Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here for more.

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