No, mail-in ballots were not found discarded in a Sonoma dumpster

We’re down to the election wire and, like clockwork, wild allegations about voter fraud are running rampant on social media. The latest involves 1,000 mail-in ballots allegedly found in a dumpster in Sonoma County.

It's not true.

“Please be aware: Someone posted pictures on the web showing empty Vote-by-Mail envelopes from Sonoma County in recycling bins,” the County cautioned. “The pictures are of old empty envelopes from the November 2018 election that were disposed of as allowed by law. But some on the web are claiming its evidence of ballots for the Nov. 3 election ‘being dumped’ in California. This is not true. Those ballots haven’t even been mailed out yet.”

The unused envelopes had been sent to a landfill for recycling per protocol when someone snapped a photo. The photo was posted to social media and shared by conservative news outlet BlazeTV.

President Donald Trump and conservative media surrogates have been amplifying unsubstantiated claims of mail-in voter fraud ahead of the November 3 election. With a deadly pandemic in full swing, 47% of Joe Biden voters say they plan to vote by mail. Among Trump voters, that number is just 11%.


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