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Obama never said anything of the sort. At a recent rally endorsing the re-election of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Obama urged Virginians to get out and vote early, either by mail or in-person.
Mail ballot fraud is incredibly rare and there is no credible evidence that suggests the voting method leads to invalid election results.
In the final days of the Virginia governor’s race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican newcomer Glenn Youngkin, a deceptive headline asserts that former U.S. President Barack Obama indicated that Democrats are planning to cheat in the election.
"Barack Obama Signals That Democrats Intend to Cheat in the Virginia Governor’s Election," the headline on conservative website Trending Politics reads.
But that’s not what Obama said or even "signaled" during a speech to support McAuliffe in the Nov. 2 election.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
In a Oct. 23 speech at Virginia Commonwealth University, Obama endorsed McAuliffe as governor and urged Virginians to get out and cast their votes early, either by mail or in person. He told the crowd to get to polling locations early or to return their ballots by mail or at a drop-off location.
Here are his exact words (starting around 1:34:30):
"Before we start anything else, I want to remind you and everybody who’s watching, you don’t have to wait until November 2nd to cast your ballot. You can vote early, right now. Either by mail or in person.
"Don’t be lollygalling. Don’t be sitting on the couch saying, ‘I’ll get to it later.’ You can vote early right now. If you get a ballot at home, you can return it by mail. Or you can hand it in at your local registrar’s office. Or you can take it to a drop-off location today. Don’t leave it on your desk. If you’re like me, your desk is cluttered, you end up spilling stuff, you’re like ‘Oh man, I’ve got to start all over again and get another ballot’ — do it now. You’ll feel good. You’ll feel good about exercising the franchise. Or you can vote early in person today. Millions of Virginians voted early last year. Let’s do it again this year. Don’t wait."
The Trending Politics article itself quoted Obama but then went on to claim that absentee ballots raise serious questions about election integrity and the validity of election results. However, experts have repeatedly found that mail ballot fraud is incredibly statistically rare.
A headline says that Obama signaled that "Democrats intend to cheat in the Virginia governor’s election."
In a speech endorsing McAuliffe for governor of Virginia, Obama urged the crowd to get out and vote early by mail or in person. He did not encourage or hint at any illegal voting tactics.
We rate this headline False.
TrendingPolitics.com, Barack Obama Signals That Democrats Intend to Cheat in the Virginia Governor’s Election, Oct. 23, 2021
The Washington Post, Obama casts the Virginia election as historic, but will his energy spark Democrats to vote?, Oct. 23, 2021
YouTube, Live: Obama campaigns with Virginia gubernatorial candidate McAuliffe, Oct. 23, 2021
Brennan Center for Justice, Debunking the Voter Fraud Myth, Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
PolitiFact, Much has changed since Jimmy Carter’s report on fraud in mail voting, Sept. 22, 2021
PolitiFact, Trump’s cascade of falsehoods about voting by mail, Nov. 1, 2020
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