Tweet incorrectly claims Madison poll worker was ‘rigging’ ballots

Marking was legally required part of process
Rigged ballot claim debunked

MADISON, Wis. — A video clip from Fox News posted in a tweet by someone accusing a Madison poll worker of “rigging ballots live on TV” actually showed the normal processing of ballots, Dane County election officials said Tuesday night.

The tweet showed a poll worker making markings on a series of ballots as part of a live shot during Fox News’ coverage of Election Day. A viewer asked News 3 Now to ask what the poll worker was doing.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell told News 3 Now the poll worker was marking the ballot to indicate which ward the ballot was cast in. Poll workers circle the ward number and initials it for verification purposes.

“He is marking that same spot on one side of each ballot – quite clearly not filling out a ballot from top to bottom,” McDonell said.

McDonell says the marking and initialing of the ward number on each ballot is required by law and is part of the checks and balances process of conducting elections. It is also done in a public setting, and the ballots with the ward numbers marked would then be signed by a different poll worker before being handed to the voter. According to McDonell, this is how election officials can verify the ballot was issued by the city.

McDonell also included a copy of the portion of the ballot the poll worker was marking:

Ballot Ward Numbers

Courtesy: Scott McDonell

The tweet was first sent on Tuesday morning and had been shared more than 10,000 times as of Tuesday night.