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Fact check: TV news clip does not show ‘live computerized fraud’ on Election Day 2020

Correction November 9, 2020: Correcting Aurora Matthews’ title in paragraph 18.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Users on social media are sharing a video that allegedly shows live “electronic vote fraud” on TV news coverage on Nov 3, 2020. The clip, however, appears to show live coverage of the 2019 Kentucky gubernatorial race. Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the footage, but the claim that the clip is evidence of “live computerized fraud” on Election Day 2020 is false. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has dismissed claims that computerized fraud affected the 2020 presidential election.

The video is visible on Facebook here (here ) , here ( archive.vn/y84LS ) and YouTube ( archive.vn/IR1kw ,   archive.vn/QWVhfarchive.vn/Gdz5Xarchive.vn/T4Ujk ).

An early iteration was uploaded to the video-hosting service BitChute here   ( archive.vn/QN4bW ) .  Since its date of publishing on Nov. 7, the clip has been viewed over 470,000 times.

“What you will see in this video is direct evidence of ELECTRONIC VOTE FRAUD captured in REAL TIME on CNN on election night, November 3, 2020”, the description on BitChute reads.

Most posts making this claim feature or link to this six-minute video. This clip features a male voice-over claiming to belong to SGTReport.com, a blog style website ( www.sgtreport.com/ ) . This man makes the claim that this CNN clip proves election fraud took place on election night, referring to it as “Hammer and Scorecard”.

This clip then starting at 1:25 appears to be segment of a longer, one-hour video visible here (beyond the scope of this fact check). 

On screen, the CNN clip appears to show live coverage of the 2019 Kentucky gubernatorial race results on CNN Anderson Cooper 360° and not live results from the 2020 election night.

The CNN clip initially shows Democrat Andy Beshear with 49.4% of votes (673,948) and Republican Matt Bevin, who had 48.6% of the votes (662,235). These results are both featured in a golden square and in a banner on the bottom of the screen (see mark 1:46 here ) .

A voice over then claims to show a moment in which “560 votes” were taken from Bevin and given to Beshear. “This is vote switching in the computer and by the way between the 560 gain and 560 loss you have just seen 25% of the loss amount of this race happen in front of your very eyes” (see mark 04:25 here ) .

CNN did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment on the authenticity of the clip. Reuters was unable to find a full version of this 2019 Kentucky gubernatorial race segment, but subtitles visible in black on these Facebook videos do appear to match to a transcript from Nov. 5, 2019 (see “Nancy Pelosi” and “double digits”, here ). The “Key Race” and “KY Governor” graphics at the bottom left of the CNN screen matches later reports from Nov. 2019 about the race, here .

KENTUCKY 2019

The Kentucky gubernatorial race took place on November 5, 2019. Incumbent Republican Matt Bevin lost to Democrat Andy Beshear by over 5,000 votes (5,086 as reported by the New York Times here   ) .

Bevin initially refused to concede citing unspecified “irregularities” ( here , here ) . At the time, experts questioned the validity of his allegations, as he did not present any evidence ( here , here ) . 

After a recanvass of the vote, which was solicited by Bevin ( here ) showed no change in results, Bevin conceded defeat on Nov. 14, 2019 ( here ) .

“HAMMER AND SCORECARD”

Some longer videos making this claim also feature a segment from Fox News Lou Dobbs Tonight on Nov. 6, 2020 ( here )  in which Sidney Powell,  the attorney representing former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, referred to “the Hammer program and a software program called scorecard,” which Powell claims were used to change “pre-election voting ballots that were collected digitally.”

On Nov. 7, 2020, Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA),  described the claim of an alleged “election hacking and vote manipulation operation” ( here ) as “disinfo”. CISA is the federal agency responsible for protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from cyber threats (www.cisa.gov/about-cisa) . Created in 2018, it operates within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

In a tweet ( here ) , Krebs specified he was referring to the claims made by Powell in his earlier statement:  “the Hammer and Scorecard nonsense. It’s just that – nonsense.”

The CISA explained here that every state has “voting system safeguards” to ensure ballots are counted correctly. These include testing and certification of voting systems and required auditable logs. As votes cast in the 2020 election were cast on paper ballots or using machines that produce a paper audit trail, CISA adds, “in the event any issues emerge with the voting system software, audit logs or tabulation,” tabulation audits can also be conducted.

Aurora Matthews, a spokeswoman for the non-governmental, nonpartisan organization Verified Voting, told Reuters via email they agreed with Kreb’s statement. She added that “that routine tabulation audits would catch the widespread discrepancies between ballots and counts.”

VERDICT

False. TV news clip does not show “fraud happening live on air during the 2020 presidential election” but shows year-old coverage from the 2019 Kentucky gubernatorial race in which no evidence of fraud was uncovered. CISA has dismissed the claim of an “election hacking and vote manipulation operation” known as “Hammer and Scorecard.”

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts  here  . 

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