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Local officials with the city of Virginia Beach, where the ballots shown in the video were from, investigated the video and concluded that they were sample ballots.
As votes legally cast before Election Day continue to be counted, Eric Trump shared a video that purported to show someone burning a stack of ballots earmarked for his father, President Donald Trump.
The video, which shows a man claiming to be burning "around 80" ballots for Trump, has also spread on Facebook. It was flagged as part of the platform’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The video is misinformation, according to election officials in Virginia Beach, where the ballots in the video appeared to be from. In a Nov. 3 statement, the city said it had looked into the video.
"A concerned citizen shared a video with us that ostensibly shows someone burning ballots," the statement read. "They are NOT official ballots, they are sample ballots."
The city’s statement included a freeze-frame photo of a ballot from the video, which showed that the ballot was for a voter from the city. It also included an image showing an official ballot. "Note the absence of the bar code markings that are on all official ballots," the statement said.
The ballots in the video show the names of the candidates running for mayor and open city council and school board seats in Virginia Beach, in addition to federal offices.
Fire investigators are looking into the incident, the city’s statement said.
The city of Virginia Beach responded to Trump’s tweet sharing the video to his more than 4.4 million Twitter followers, writing, "Those were sample ballots. Addressed this yesterday."
Those were sample ballots. Addressed this yesterday. https://t.co/yprxQ7Icqn.— Virginia Beach (@CityofVaBeach) November 4, 2020
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry.
We rate this statement False.
Eric Trump on Twitter, Nov. 4, 2020
Ninja Stuntz on Twitter, Nov. 4, 2020
Virginia Beach on Twitter, Nov. 4, 2020
City of Virginia Beach, "City of Virginia Beach Election Brief – 5 p.m.," Nov. 3, 2020
Davey Alba on Twitter, Nov. 3, 2020
WAVY-10, "Dyer wins re-election in Virginia Beach mayoral race," Nov. 3, 2020
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