Stand up for the facts!
Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
More than 40 million people voted early, either in person or by mail, during the 2022 midterms. This number surpassed early voting in 2018, but fell short of the 2020 early voting turnout.
There is no evidence that this level of voter participation before Election Day is linked to fraud.
There are security measures in place to prevent the counting of fabricated ballots and votes cast illegally under a dead person’s name.
Millions of voters cast their ballots in the 2022 midterms ahead of Election Day. A Nov. 6 Instagram post suggested that fact alone is indicative of fraud.
"Election fraud alert: Over 40 million people in the U.S. have voted early (including in person and by mail) surpassing 2018 and 2020. The question is since mostly Democrats vote early, are these made up ballots or dead people voting?" the post said.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
Election fraud in the U.S. is rare, and we’ve found no federal or state government reports of widespread malfeasance in the early votes cast in the 2022 midterms.
More than 40 million people voted early this midterm election cycle, according to the United States Elections Project, a website that tracks voter turnout run by Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political science professor.
The U.S. Elections Project reported that by midday Nov. 7, the day before Election Day, roughly 22.3 million votes were returned mail ballots and about 18.5 million were in-person early votes.
Early voting in the 2022 midterms surpassed the 39.1 million votes cast before Election Day in 2018, but was lower than the 101 million votes cast early in 2020, according to the U.S. Elections Project.
The Instagram post claimed that most early voters are Democrats. That’s the case in some states, but not in others, U.S. Elections Project data shows. For example, in California and Pennsylvania, Democrats this general election cast the most early votes; but in Florida and Louisiana, more Republicans voted early.
It’s difficult to get a complete picture on the partisan breakdown of early voting because only 23 states provide that data. That early voting data shows that as of Nov. 7:
More than 9 million Democrats had voted.
About 7.1 million Republicans had voted.
About 4.9 million third-party and nonaffiliated people had voted.
Successfully fabricating mail ballots, as the claim purported, is difficult because local election offices have strong security measures in place to prevent fraud, including signature matching, voter information checks, barcodes, watermarks and precise paper weights, according to the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Election officials in every state also regularly update voter rolls to remove registrations for people who have died, moved, registered elsewhere or otherwise become ineligible to vote.
Officials remove the names of dead people from voter rolls by using death records from state agencies. According to the federal agency overseeing election security, there may be lag time between when people die and when their registrations are canceled. However, death records provide a strong audit trail to identify any attempts to vote under a dead person’s name.
State and federal law prohibits fabricating ballots or casting ballots under other people’s names. Fraudulent voting has occasionally happened, but there has been no evidence of widespread fraud in past elections.
A Nov. 6 Instagram post claimed that "since mostly Democrats vote early" then that represents "made-up ballots or dead people voting."
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2022 midterms, which were underway when this post was made. There are specific security measures in place to prevent the counting of fabricated ballots and votes cast illegally under a dead person’s name.
More than 40 million people voted early. In some states, most early voters are Democrats, but that’s not the case in other states.
We rate this claim False.
Instagram post, Nov. 6, 2022
United States Elections Project, "2022 General Election Early Voting Statistics," Nov. 7, 2022
United States Elections Project, "California 2022 Early Vote," Nov. 6, 2022
United States Elections Project, "Pennsylvania 2022 Early Vote," Nov. 7, 2022
United States Elections Project, "Florida 2022 Early Vote," Nov. 7, 2022
United States Elections Project, "Louisiana 2022 Early Vote," Nov. 6, 2022
United States Elections Project, "2020 General Election Early Vote Statistics," Nov. 23, 2020
United States Elections Project, "2018 November General Election Early Voting," Nov. 6, 2018
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, "Election Security Rumor Vs. Reality," Nov. 4, 2022
The Washington Post, "The truth about election fraud: It’s rare," Nov. 1, 2022
The Hill, "Georgia review found just four deceased voters’ ballots cast in 2020 election," Dec. 28, 2021
The Atlanta Journal Constitution, "State investigates fraudulent ballot in Spalding County," Oct. 25, 2022
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.