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Fact check: Pennsylvania judge did not rule that 200,349 absentee ballots were invalid and Trump did not win in the state 

Social media users have been sharing a post allegedly shared by lawyer Sidney Powell on social media platform Parler, which claims that a Pennsylvania judge ruled that 200,349 absentee ballots were invalid due to missing dates.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples can be seen  here  and  here  .  

The post reads: “BREAKING: Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge ruled that 200,349 absentee ballots in Allegheny County where the voter didn’t date their declaration are invalid, reversing a lower court judge. This is a Trump win. He just won Pennsylvania again!”

While the post looks like an authentic post from Sidney Powell on Parler, it comes from an imposter account (here). Powell’s real account has a different photograph and is marked with a gold “verified influencer” badge (here). The website explains that this badge is to protect the person’s identity and prove their authenticity to other users.  

The contents of the post are also incorrect. On Nov. 18, 2020, Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Joseph James ruled that the 2,349 ballots which were received by election day but not dated by voters must be counted to be included in the county’s tally, according to Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station  here  . 

Pennsylvania’s election code explains that mail-in ballots must be signed and dated by the voter. (here). 

The Pittsburgh Gazette reported the next day on Nov. 19, 2020, that the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed the decision and asked the Common Pleas court to direct the county to exclude the ballots from the county’s tally (here).  

It is unclear where the much larger number purportedly in the Parler post originated from. The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court did rule that a number of ballots undated by voters will not be counted, but this number was 2,349, not 200,349.

Amie Downs, director of communications for Allegheny county, confirmed to Reuters via email that the correct number of undated ballots that would not be counted was 2,349.

Joe Biden still leads in Pennsylvania by 81,660 votes over Donald J. Trump. (here ) 

VERDICT

False. The Pennsylvania judge ruled to exclude 2,349 ballots that were not dated, not 200,349.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .          

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