WXYZ Detroit, a local news station in Michigan, debunked a conspiracy Thursday after finding itself in the middle of a fake story about potential voter fraud.
A video captured by a woman named Kelly SoRelle of “Lawyers for Trump” and submitted to ring-wing site Texas Scorecard shows a person bringing a red wagon and equipment into a polling center in the dead of night. The website called the activity “suspicious” and said SoRelle wanted to “raise alarms” that the equipment could have contained ballots to be counted after the deadline. Far-right blog Gateway Pundit, known for sharing unverified conspiracy theories, also published the theory, which Eric Trump shared on Twitter.
But WXYZ was quick to set the record straight about what the video captured.
“A video making the rounds on social media and other platforms that claims to show voter fraud and a wagon being loaded outside of the TCF Center in Detroit is actually video of a WXYZ photographer loading his camera and other gear into a wagon for work,” the station wrote on Twitter.
President Donald Trump and his allies have been raising the possibility of voter fraud as Democratic nominee Joe Biden has led him in votes in many key battleground states. There is no evidence any fraudulent activity has taken place whatsoever.
WXYZ reporter Ross linked to Texas Scorecard’s article and defended his coworker on Twitter: “A conservative ‘news’ site reports catching a man wheeling in ‘suspicious’ equipment to the Detroit convention center, implying it was used to steal ballots. The ‘ballot thief’ was my photographer. He was bringing down equipment for our 12-hour shift.”
An article on the station’s website says the original video of its photographer was even played on conservative commentator Steven Crowder’s streaming show, where the photographer’s use of a wagon was discussed.
“The commentators in the video talk about the wagon, and our photographer said he needed a wagon because the shots were downstairs at TCF Center. He found the wagon in his shed,” said the station, adding they would not share the original conspiracy video because it is “false.”
This is a wagon.
It is not "suspicious" equipment that was used to steal ballots.
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— WXYZ Detroit (@wxyzdetroit) November 5, 2020