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Lehigh County workers count ballots as vote counting in the general election continues, Nov. 5, 2020, in Allentown, Pa. (AP) Lehigh County workers count ballots as vote counting in the general election continues, Nov. 5, 2020, in Allentown, Pa. (AP)

Lehigh County workers count ballots as vote counting in the general election continues, Nov. 5, 2020, in Allentown, Pa. (AP)

Miriam Valverde
By Miriam Valverde November 5, 2020

Social media posts falsely claim 40,000 votes for Jo Jorgensen became votes for Joe Biden in Pa.

If Your Time is short

  • The claim is not supported by official data reported by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 
  • The posts claimed that by the time Pennsylvania had reported 56% of votes, Libertarian presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen had 89,000 votes, and that her count declined by 40,000 votes shortly after. The images appear to come from Google. We can’t verify their authenticity. 

  • The latest information available from Pennsylvania election officials, with about 93% of votes counted, showed that Jorgensen had not yet reached 89,000 votes.

Social media posts are promoting misinformation about the presidential election about lost and found ballots.

A Facebook post falsely claimed that Wisconsin "found" 112,000 ballots at 3 a.m." Another post also wrongly claimed that "Wisconsin took a break, and when they returned" Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden "coincidentally came back ahead by 100k." President Donald Trump, in his quest for reelection, falsely claimed there were "surprise ballot dumps" in several states.

Now, posts on Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok are claiming that more than 40,000 votes once counted for Libertarian presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen in Pennsylvania "magically" went to Biden. A video posted on TikTok Nov. 5 shows what appears to be a screenshot of a Facebook post, which said: "Wanna see 40,000+ votes for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen magically become votes for Joe Biden? Abra cadabra! Nope. No fraud here." 

The Facebook post included two screenshots seemingly taken 12 minutes apart: one claimed to show Pennsylvania results at 56% reporting, the other, results at 59% reporting.

The 56% reporting screenshot had these vote counts:

Trump: 2,158,770
Biden: 1,571,693
Jorgensen: 89,025

The 59% reporting screenshot had these vote counts:

Trump: 2,286,966
Biden: 1,674,122
Jorgensen: 46,987

So from one screenshot to the other, Jorgensen’s vote count is down 42,038.

But the images do not show or prove that those votes became Biden votes. 

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According to the screenshots, Biden’s count increased by more than 102,000, not just the 42,038 purportedly taken away from Jorgensen.

Trump’s count also increased by more than 128,000, yet the social media posts don’t similarly link Jorgensen’s alleged lost votes to Trump.

We found no evidence that the screenshots even represent true counts at any point in time. The images are not from Pennsylvania’s official elections page; they match the look of images from Google’s election count, which says it relies on data provided by the Associated Press. We can't verify the authenticity of the images in the social media posts.

By 5 p.m. eastern time Nov. 5, results posted by election officials in Pennsylvania showed that Jorgensen had around 74,000 votes, with about 93% of the state’s total votes counted. That tally is less than the amount she supposedly had at 56% reporting.

PolitiFact reached out to Pennsylvania’s secretary of state for more information, but we did not hear back.

Our ruling

Social media posts claimed, "40,000+ votes for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen magically become votes for Joe Biden."

We found no evidence that supports the claim.

The posts claimed that by the time Pennsylvania had reported 56% of votes, Jorgensen had 89,000 votes, and that her count declined by 40,000 votes shortly after. The latest information available from Pennsylvania election officials, with about 93% of votes counted, showed that Jorgensen had not yet reached 89,000 votes.

Given that Jorgensen did not have those 89,000 votes to begin with, the claim that 40,000 of her votes "magically" became Biden’s is baseless. Other data included in the posts also do not prove the claim.

We rate the posts False.

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More by Miriam Valverde

Social media posts falsely claim 40,000 votes for Jo Jorgensen became votes for Joe Biden in Pa.

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