CLAIM: Video shows a man unloading ballots from a white van and using a red wagon to secretly haul them into Detroit’s ballot-counting center in the middle of the night.
THE FACTS: On Wednesday, as election workers tallied millions of mail-in votes in battleground states including Michigan, right-wing commentator Steven Crowder shared a grainy video of a man unloading something out of a white van, placing it onto a red wagon and lugging it inside Detroit’s TCF Center. “This only creates MORE questions about votes and ballot security concerns in Michigan,” Crowder tweeted.
Social media users and conservative websites quickly seized on the video, calling it “highly suspicious” and claiming it showed a man smuggling illegitimate ballots into the facility “in the dead of night.”
However, the local news station WXYZ-TV soon clarified the real explanation: The man was one of the station’s photographers, and he was using the wagon to carry his heavy camera equipment. “A conservative ‘news’ site reports catching a man wheeling in ‘suspicious’ equipment to the Detroit convention center, implying it was used to steal ballots,” tweeted Ross Jones, an investigative reporter for WXYZ-TV. “The ‘ballot thief’ was my photographer. He was bringing down equipment for our 12-hour shift.”
In its fact check, the station also shared a photo of the wagon holding a Pelican brand camera case with a WXYZ-TV sticker on it.
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. https://t.co/4UsRdOncZ3— Ross Jones (@rossjonesWXYZ) November 5, 2020
— Ali Swenson