False Stories Crop Up On Voter Fraud After Close Pennsylvania House Race

on March 1, 2016 in Burlington, United States.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — A Pennsylvania official said no “legitimate claims or complaints” of voter fraud have come up since Tuesday’s closely contested U.S. House race in the state, countering several false stories that cited invalid votes and a court decision throwing the election results out.

The website Daily World Update said in a story circulating on social media that a judge identified as Marshawn Little of the 45th Federal Appeals Court of Westmoreland County cancelled the results because they were “tainted beyond reproach.”

But there is no such judge in Pennsylvania and no such court exists.

Another story on the same website, which identifies itself as a satire site to users who click the “About” section, claims “trucks full of illegals” cast votes in the election.

“There are no legitimate claims or complaints or evidence that any such events occurred. These claims should not be taken seriously,” said Wanda Murren, communications director for Pennsylvania’s Department of State.

No county elections office in the district has received any such reports, either.

“We are not aware of any official complaints lodged with the county election boards or district attorneys alleging voter fraud, nor have there been any filed through DOS. Any claims otherwise or without citing these entities could be from illegitimate sources,” Murren said.

With absentee ballots counted, Democrat Conor Lamb holds a 627-vote lead over Republican Rick Saccone out of more than 228,000 cast. Lamb has declared victory, while Saccone has not conceded. Election officials in the four counties in the Pittsburgh-area district had identified about 400 uncounted provisional, military and overseas ballots by Thursday.

The Associated Press has not called the race.

The GOP is watching the final vote counting before deciding whether to seek a recount or sue over perceived election irregularities.
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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.

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