All eyes were on the United States this week as the American elections just wrapped up, with democratic candidate Joe Biden becoming the president-elect. President Donald Trump alleged ‘vote rigging’ and called for stopping the count as states turned blue. His followers also began suggesting online that the elections were rigged. In the midst of this, a CCTV clip, allegedly from an American polling booth, began widely circulating. In the video, election officers are seen putting extra votes in the ballot box. Twitter user @ThePushpendra_ shared wrote, “If the election officers in the US themselves cast fake votes, Donald Trump has no choice but to go to the Supreme Court. No wonder the liberal gang is so happy.” The clip had received over 44,500 views at the time of writing. (archive link)
— Pushpendra Kulshreshtha (@ThePushpendra_) November 6, 2020
Twitter user Amit Singh tweeted the video and the accompanying claim. (Archive link)
— अमित सिंह (@YourAmit0136) November 6, 2020
Facebook page ‘Sanjaymayalkalal’ also posted the footage with the same caption. (Archive link)
अमेरिका में चुनाव कराने वाले खुद जब फर्जी वोटिंग डाला तो @realDonaldTrump जी SC तो जाएँगेहि ना इसी लिए लिबरल गैंग बहुत खुश हैं
Posted by Sanjaymayalkalal on Friday, November 6, 2020
Old video from Russia
Alt News performed a reverse image search of a frame from the viral clip and found it in a video report by The Guardian from March 19, 2018. The story mentions that leaked CCTV footage in Russia revealed that there had been incidents of ballot-stuffing across various polling booths. In this footage, several people can be seen stuffing extra papers into the ballot box. This election from 2018 saw Vladimir Putin become the president of Russia for the fourth time, securing 75 per cent of the votes.
According to a video report by news agency AFP, the Election Commission of Russia shared CCTV footage from the polling booth in the city of Lyubertsy on the outskirts of Moscow. Here, the staff is seen placing extra votes inside the ballot box. After this came to light, the Election Commission said that it would cancel the fake votes. On March 19, 2018, the Washington Post also published this footage and covered ballot-stuffing incidents during Russia’s presidential election.
We have compared the frames from the AFP video and the viral clip below to show they are identical.
Therefore, footage from the Russian presidential election two years ago was falsely shared as evidence of electoral fraud in the recent US election. Those circulating the video used it to support Donald Trump’s claim that the votes had been miscounted.