Ohio Secretary Of State Misled By Joke Tweet About Voter Fraud

Tony Dejak

A joke tweet from a user boasting about merrily engaging in voter fraud reverberated through the conservative media sphere over the past 48 hours, eventually prompting a call for investigation from Ohio’s top elections official.

Responding to a tweet from user @randygdub, who wrote Sunday that he loves “ripping up absentee ballots that vote for trump” from his perch as a postal worker in Columbus, the Buckeye State’s secretary of state weighed in.

“I’ve contacted @USPS about posts alleging destruction of absentee ballots,” John Husted wrote on Twitter on Monday evening. “We’ll get the facts & if true, hold anyone guilty accountable.”

By the time Husted’s tweet went out, everyone from Scott Baio, Rush Limbaugh and GatewayPundit blogger Jim Hoft had expressed outrage over the incident as proof of the widespread voter fraud that Donald Trump has alleged will lead to his loss on Election Day.

The United States Postal Service had even issued a response to users, concluding that their initial investigation found that @randygdub did not appear to be their employee.

A few hours later, Husted posted another tweet assuring voters that they “expect it is not true” but adding that it’s “appropriate” for the USPS to investigate the allegation.

Husted's office did not respond Tuesday to TPM’s request for comment.

A cursory scan of @randygdub's Twitter feed, which lists his location as California and is full of jokes like "read all the Wikileaks emails and im racist now," plus one about presidential debate star Ken Bone joining ISIS, could have reassured nervous Trump supporters that he was not exactly serious.

Correction: This post has been updated to remove a mention to a Twitter account falsely attributed to the Tennessee GOP. Their official account is @TNGOP, not @TEN_GOP.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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