Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Abandoned 2020 Mail-In Ballots

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Abandoned 2020 Mail-In Ballots Old Photo

Is this a photo of 2020 general election mail-in ballots abandoned on the side of the road? No, that's not true: This a photo from 2018. A New Jersey-based U.S. Postal Service worker dumped this mail and later resigned.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) where it was shared on Facebook on October 3, 2020 with the caption:

Did you mail in your ballet? maybe it in one of theses boxes!

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Sun Oct 4 19:17:11 2020 UTC)

The Facebook post implied that this photo is from 2020. These bins of mail were found in Pennsauken, New Jersey, in the fall of 2018, according to a January 2019 report from NJ.com.

The mail, discovered Sunday, was dated Aug. 8 and out for delivery from the Roxborough Station Post Office in Philadelphia, according to Special Agent Scott Balfour, with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, which investigates misconduct in the agency.

Agents tracked down the employee who threw out the mail, but learned the person resigned from the postal service Sept. 8, according to Balfour.

"We do not anticipate any further action against this individual," Balfour said Wednesday. "The Roxborough Station Post Office is going to deliver the mail."

Here is a truthful Facebook post of the same from 2018:

If your looking for your mail it maybe on river road by 36st station...share this post ppl information is out on the street

Posted by Kewnoneal Bennett on Sunday, September 30, 2018

Falsehoods surrounding mail-in ballots have been circulating for a number of months. Find more Lead Stories reports on mail-in ballots here, here, here, and here.

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This fact check is available at IFCN's 2020 US Elections #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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