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Photo shows Philadelphia election official with box of ballots

November 4, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Photo shows an official ballot box in Philadelphia “being taken away by an unidentified civilian.”

AP’S ASSESMENT: False. The photo shows a Board of Elections official in Philadelphia delivering the ballot box to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Philadelphia City Commissioners -- an office in charge of elections and voter registration -- confirmed to the AP.

THE FACTS: A photo circulated on social media Tuesday showing an election official loading a box of ballots into a car outside George Washington High School in Philadelphia.

Social media users shared the photo on social media with false claims, alleging “voter fraud.” “New picture from the field: an official ballot box being taken away by an unidentified civilian. What’s going on here?” an unverified account called @PhillyGOP tweeted. The false post had over 7,000 retweets.

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Kevin Feeley, spokesman for the Philadelphia City Commissioners, told The Associated Press in a call that the election official was delivering the ballot box.

“That employee is a city official. He works for the Board of Elections,” Feeley said. Feeley explained that the employee was delivering the full ballot box to the Convention Center.

Feeley also noted that the box was delivered safely.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536