A Guide to Election Misconceptions | Cami Dominguez

 Though my heart will forever long for a presidency from Mr. Bernard Sanders, Joe Biden has pulled through this election and is the projected 46th president of the United States. This anxiety-inducing election has left everyone glued to their screens to see what Trump’s next move is, especially after Biden’s victory. While Trump was throwing a temper tantrum at his local golf course, Rudy Guliani was blabbering to the press in the parking lot of a landscaping company in hopes of giving Trumpies a sense of unlikely hope of a miraculous win by Trump. Now, with that said, given the unique experience of this election, many people are left doubting whether the election was fair game, most of whom are… well… Trump supporters. But hey, people cope in different ways. As a result, misconceptions around the election have been surfacing around the internet that simply need to be put to rest. 

Claim no.1 – SharpieGate

   The amount of “gates” that there are among conspiracy theorists at this point is borderline comedic. Rumors have sparked in Maricopa County, Arizona after a Trump protest went on in one of the polling facilities claiming that those who decided to vote in-person for Trump were sabotaged by the poll workers. The people said that the poll workers could tell by a glance whether voters were democrat or a republican– if they were identified to be a republican, they would be handed a Sharpie instead of a regular pen, which would then invalidate their ballot. A lawsuit even got filed by a woman who sued the county after claiming that her ballot was not counted because of the Sharpie. Though legitimate sounding, this is in fact false. The Maricopa County elections department told Reuters “The Sharpies are just fine to use (…) They do not impact tabulation, and we encourage them on election day because of how fast the ink dries.” Ironically, Maricopa County, even before election night, tweeted about how they use Sharpies at their polling stations, posting informational videos and statements which tell residents of this fact and how it is perfectly safe. If that isn’t satisfactory enough, the US Cyber Security & Infrastructure Security Agency also released a statement that proved “Poll workers gave specific writing instruments, such as Sharpies, only to specific voters to cause their ballots to be rejected” to be a rumor.

Claim no.2 – William Bradley 

   I hope this doesn’t come as news to anyone, but just in case you aren’t aware, the deceased are not able to vote. Republicans have been making sure everyone is aware of this after Twitter user @fleccas brought to light that 118-year-old William Bradley voted via absentee ballot in Wayne County, Michigan despite having died in 1984. This is also false, as Michigan’s secretary of state has already responded to the claim with the simple, yet sadly needed, explanation that any ballot of voters who have died would be instantly audited. Regardless, a clerk would have had to check the ballot and registration records. So while the video might have been real, the voter fraud claim is false. As apocalyptic 2020 has felt, no deceased person’s ballot could have actually made its way through the voter process. 

Claim no.3 – Wisconsin and 100k absentee ballots 

Imagine going comfortably to sleep knowing that the candidate that you favor is leading a certain state and to wake up and find it completely different. Another instance of a popular “voter fraud” theory are the speculations around how Wisconsin happened to “find” 100k absentee ballots. This occurrence happened after the City of Milwaukee, a fairly democratic area, reported their first batch of absentee ballots and around 4 am Biden’s numbers spiked with more than 100k votes in his favor. Many Republicans, including Trump himself, started to call this a “ballot dump” or referring to it as the ballots being “found”, insinuating that democrats might have thrown in some extra ballots. And well, get this, this is once again false. Most of these cases where either ballots are “found” have a fair explanation behind them when referring to the local news of said state. In this case, Milwaukee happened to report the votes as a clump because of their central count location, meaning that they did not report the votes from individual polling places. The “pause” that took place was just the time that it took the polling places to send the votes to the central polling station. All of this was just part of the process that comes with mail-in ballots: it requires patience, which republicans have proven to have very little of. 

   While leftists and liberals argue over what “settling for Biden” truly means, Trump supporters are left unconvinced that the election went untampered. The conspiracy theories only get more complex and intricate the more you go looking for them, but regardless of it all, unless Trump wins ALL of the lawsuits he’s filed, the possibilities of him winning are fairly slim since Biden secured the electoral vote. We all have our different coping mechanisms, whether it’s taking a break from social media, going out for a run, or meditating, the possibilities are endless – maybe even take a page from Trump’s book and go out for a nice game of golf.

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