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Fact check: NYT spreadsheets of Virginia election data do not show evidence of fraud

Social media users have been sharing an article which claims to use spreadsheets of election data from the New York Times (NYT) to show evidence of voter fraud in Virginia. The article says that vote entries are not in whole integers, some entries are removed and re-added, and the proportion of votes for each candidate is the same for most entries. However, the NYT confirmed to Reuters that it did not make the spreadsheets and its own data is in whole integers.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

The Gateway Pundit article, seen here and shared on social media here , here and here is titled “BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Multiple Reversals and Proportional Vote Entries In Virginia on Election Night after 11PM Indicate Election Fraud Occurred in This State Too”.

The article presents two spreadsheets purportedly created from a New York Times data feed showing votes received by each candidate. The article does not link to the source of the data feed and Gateway Pundit could not be reached for comment on this matter. The article questions why the number of votes in the spreadsheet is not recorded in whole integers. Next, the article draws attention to three vote dumps totalling over 900,000 votes for Biden and almost 200,000 votes for Trump, two of which were subsequently subtracted. The article says, “These reversing entries look like adjusting entries […] There really is no logical reason except for fraud.” Lastly, the article claims that nearly every entry from 8AM ET on Nov. 4 to 9:30PM ET on Nov. 7 had the same proportion of votes for Biden (55%) and Trump (45%), saying, “This too is not reasonable and impossible. […] This too indicates fraud.”

A spokeswoman for the NYT told Reuters that their company did not make the spreadsheets in the Gateway Pundit article. The data used by the NYT comes from the National Election Pool and Edison Research (here , here). In this data, the number of ballots appears in whole integers, unlike the figures in the Gateway Pundit data.

The NYT shared with Reuters the Edison Research election data from Fairfax County, Virginia, which shows three entries for Biden and Trump together totalling over 900,000 and almost 200,000 votes respectively, where two of the entries for each candidate were later deleted. This is a very similar situation to the one detailed in the Gateway Pundit article, and carries almost identical timestamps, although the number of votes in each of the six alleged vote dumps for Biden and Trump in the Gateway Pundit article differ from Edison data by a margin of a few hundred to approximately two thousand votes.

The table that the NYT shared with Reuters can be seen here: vimeo.com/484086368 . The first large vote dump entry at 23:42:34 ET on Nov. 3 shows an addition of 330,442 votes for Biden and 38,150 for Trump in the Edison data. This is close to the 331,289.50 votes for Biden and 39,368.76 for Trump recorded in the Gateway Pundit chart, which carries a timestamp of 04:42:43 GMT. As GMT is five hours ahead of ET, this time stamp is the same as the Edison data. In the Edison data, 330,442 and 38,150 votes were subtracted from Biden and Trump’s vote totals respectively at 00:12:37 ET on Nov. 4. In the Gateway Pundit data, 330,153.34 votes were subtracted from Biden and 37,510.59 from Trump at 05:12:38 GMT.

A second large entry at 00:26:42 ET on Nov. 4 showed 308,407 votes added to Biden’s total and 79,372 to Trump, all of which were then subtracted at 00:30:55 in the Edison data. In the Gateway Pundit data Biden received 308,341.59 votes and Trump 80,357.05 at 05:26:48 GMT, all of which were subtracted at 05:30:56 GMT.

The third large entry at 02:17:05 ET saw Biden receive 308,407 votes and Trump 79,372 in the Edison data, while in the Gateway pundit data Biden received 308,051.63 votes and Trump 77,492.67 at 07:17:06 GMT. There was no subtraction of votes following this addition.

A spokesman for Edison Research explained to Reuters that the subtraction and multiple entries occurred because Edison deleted two web reports from Fairfax County after they could not be confirmed: “At 11:42 PM on 11/3 we received a web report from Fairfax County and that went into our system. We could not confirm that report so we took it out of our system at 12:12AM on 11/4.”

“Similarly, we receive a feed report from Fairfax County at 12:26AM. We could not confirm that report immediately so we took it out of our system at 12:30AM. We then confirmed the vote report from Fairfax County at 2:17AM and it was put back into our system.”

In the Edison data, the amount taken away from the total matches the amount originally added on, for example, where 330,442 votes were added for Biden at 23:42 ET, 330,442 votes were subtracted at 00:12 ET on Nov. 4. This means that the subtractions made no difference to the overall vote total until the figure was verified.

Regarding the claim about the proportion of votes received by Biden and Trump staying at 55% to 45% for most of the vote entries, the Edison Research spokesman told Reuters, “That does not match the data in our log so I have no idea where the data they are referring to is coming from.”

The Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council Executive Committee and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council said in a statement that election security officials have no evidence that ballots were changed, deleted or lost by voting systems in the Nov. 3 U.S. election, which they described as “the most secure in American history.” (here)

VERDICT

False. The New York Times told Reuters its ballot count data appears in whole integers, unlike the figures in the article. Edison Research, which supplied data to the NYT said entries and subtractions occurred while a county vote report was being confirmed. Its data did not show the consistent 55%/45% vote entry split as described by the article.

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

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