What didn’t happen in election

Published 9:16 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2017

In the aftermath of Alabama’s high-profile Senate election, some sites are spreading false information about supposed voter fraud in Democrat Doug Jones’ upset victory over Republican Roy Moore.

The Associated Press checked these out; here are the real facts:

NOT REAL: Three poll workers arrested for allowing 3,000 invalid votes for Doug Jones

THE FACTS: The Alabama secretary of state’s office says no poll workers were arrested in Birmingham, despite a viral site’s report, and said the individuals named in the piece were not poll workers on Election Night. A story published by a satire site called reaganwasright.com said “Alabama State Police” arrested three poll workers for allowing 3,000 unqualified voters to cast ballots. The secretary of state’s office said the names given in the story as the arrested individuals were not poll workers. It is not clear if they are real people. The site also gives a false name, Applevale, for the county where Birmingham is located and quotes a fake division and office of the state attorney’s office. The site also claims Moore is considering filing an injunction in the 17th District Federal Court of Appeals. There is no such court.

NOT REAL: Busload of black voters arrested coming into state to vote illegally

THE FACTS: Police in Selma, Alabama, did not arrest 27 African-American men and women who were bused into the state, as the site coptimes.com claims. Both Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier say the story is false. The site says the people were arrested at Warsaw Middle School. No such school exists. The site also gives a fake name for the Selma police chief.

NOT REAL: BREAKING: Alabama military absentee ballots just came in and ruined Democrats’ day

THE FACTS: Alabama’s 67 counties were counting those ballots on Tuesday and did not yet have a final tally of them, despite the claims of the site americanrevolution.co. The Alabama secretary of state said Tuesday he did not yet know how many total overseas ballots had been submitted.

Merrill said previously it was “very unlikely” that last-minute ballots — including write-ins, provisional ballots and military votes— would change the outcome of the race. The site claims that 18,000 absentee ballots were mailed in from overseas and most of those were cast for Moore. The story also repeats false claims that police arrested a busload of black voters coming into the state and a van carrying immigrants in the country illegally who were said to be traveling between polling places.

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.