Twitter has placed a notice on one of President Donald Trump’s Thursday morning tweets. The original post contained misinformation about mail-in voting, and now, Twitter has placed a link alongside the original text where users can “learn how mail-in voting is safe and secure,” it says. Trump originally claimed that “Because of the new and unprecedented massive amount of unsolicited ballots which will be sent to “voters”, or wherever, this year, the Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED, which is what some want.” This claim is totally baseless fearmongering. There is no evidence that the true winner of the election may never be known — but Trump seems to be laying the groundwork for a potential rejection of the results if he loses.
Twitter issued the following statement:
‘We’ve added a label to this Tweet for making a potentially misleading statement regarding the process of mail-in voting, and to offer more context for anyone who may see the Tweet. This action is in line with our recently-updated Civic Integrity Policy.’
We’ve added a label to this Tweet for making a potentially misleading statement regarding the process of mail-in voting, and to offer more context for anyone who may see the Tweet. This action is in line with our recently-updated Civic Integrity Policy. https://t.co/aRbnblUUEO
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 17, 2020
There’s more than one level of misinformation in the president’s original post. Trump suggests that sending ballots out to every registered voter in a state is “unprecedented” — but it’s not. Before the 2020 cycle, five states had systems in place in which elections were conducted almost entirely via the mail. As for his suggestion that ballots might not even be sent to registered voters, there’s no systematic evidence for this claim. Registered voters have their addresses on file with the state, and mail-in ballots will be sent to those addresses. This concept is not complicated — although Trump has previously claimed that ballots will even be sent to pets. That claim is laughably ridiculous, and it’s amazing that anyone takes the president and his bumbling nonsense seriously at this point.
There is no evidence for his fundamental claim that the true result of the upcoming presidential election may forever be a mystery. An FBI official said recently that the agency has “not seen, to date, a coordinated national voter fraud effort during a major election and it would be extraordinarily difficult to change a federal election outcome through this type of model alone, given the range of processes that we need to be affected or compromised by an adversary at the local level.” It’s a comparatively small number of states who are even sending out unsolicited mail-in ballots to registered voters in the first place, and there are many security checks in place, from signature verification requirements to tying individual ballots to individual voters to regulations against mail-in ballot tampering.