Unsubstantiated Election Conspiracy Theories Swirl as Votes in Key States Continue to Be Counted

The theories include ballots being labeled invalid and even burned, but officials have denied the false reports.

Unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election have begun swirling, adding to the already contentious election.  

In Arizona, the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is neck and neck, and now some Trump supporters are claiming that Republican voters were given permanent markers to cast their votes and the ink bled through, rendering their votes invalid. The instance is now being referred to as “Sharpiegate,” but there is no evidence that it’s true.

Election officials have said there’s been no problems counting votes.

“The felt-tip pen ballot controversy burning through social media is false,” Pima County officials in Arizona tweeted Wednesday.

Another conspiracy that has been making its round alleges that ballots are being burned. In a video, retweeted by Eric Trump and first posted by a QAnon account, alleged ballots from Virginia Beach that were “all for President Trump” were burned. 

The video was quickly labeled fake, though, and officials say the ballots shown in the video lack the “bar code markings that are on all official ballots”.

Trump has continued to challenge the vote counting process as the election remains undecided. On Wednesday, Trump filed a lawsuit to stop vote counting in Michigan. Biden defeated Trump in the state.

The president also filed a lawsuit in Georgia and  Pennsylvania in order to gain more access for campaign observers to the ballot counting process. As of Thursday afternoon, Pennsylvania and Georgia were still too early to call.