The claim: Voters told voting system in Fayette County, Kentucky, was down when it wasn’t
As voters headed to the polls, some feared fraud would stop their votes from being counted, despite ample evidence against that.
A woman in Fayette County, Kentucky, described a “sketchy” voting experience, a warning that spread on social media.
Facebook user Jennifer Clark wrote in the post, time-stamped 2 hours old in the screenshot posted by Facebook page Conservative Treehouse on Tuesday, that she went to vote and was told by a poll worker that the “whole county’s system is down.” The poll worker allegedly said the voters could leave their ballots with her to be counted later or leave and come back another day.
“Not one single person left. Not one single person ‘trusted’ her,” Clark wrote. “We all sat, and we all waited. Turns out, the system wasn’t down at all. Turns out when everyone waited, the system magically was working after all.”
Clark did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for more information about her experience. Conservative Treehouse, which amplified Clark’s post Tuesday, responded Tuesday evening that it was in contact with its source on this information and disagreed with USA TODAY's analysis.
Post is from Kentucky’s first day of early voting, exaggerates situation
Clark’s post is authentic, but it wasn’t made Nov. 3 – and the Fayette County clerk explained the mishap wasn’t quite as dramatic.
Donald Blevins, Fayette County clerk, said there was a brief holdup that day, but it was caused by simple error.
“Election officers in several locations forgot their training and failed to separate the accountability stubs from the ballots,” Blevins told USA TODAY via email. “As a result, the scanners would not (appropriately) accept the ballots. So it appeared to be a machine issue.
“Since multiple locations called with similar problems, the officers likely heard us say something to that effect. Then turned to their voters and said, ‘Yeah it’s countywide,’” he said.
Blevins said it took about 15 minutes to fix “what turned out to be a simple mistake,” and once the stubs were removed, voting went “swimmingly.” He said Fayette County’s voting was going smoothly on Election Day.
“There is NOTHING wrong today,” he said. “We are doing very well.”
A reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader also reported that Blevins called the online claim "false and misleading."
Our rating: Partly false
Though there was a brief holdup in voting the day the Facebook post was created, the Fayette County clerk said the delay was mischaracterized in the post. And the timing of the post's share is misleading. The post was made Oct. 13, not Nov. 3. We rate this claim PARTLY FALSE.
Our fact-check sources:
Ballotpedia, accessed Nov. 3, Voting in Kentucky
Email correspondence with Fayette County clerk Donald Blevins, Nov. 3
Lexington Herald Leader, retrieved Nov. 3, "Search: Fayette County voting system down"
Lex 18 News, retrieved Nov. 3, "Search: Fayette County voting system down"
WVLK, retrieved Nov. 3, "Search: Fayette County voting system down"
Daniel Desrochers, Nov. 3, tweet
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: 'Nothing wrong' with voting in Kentucky county, clerk says