Vote generic

By Delia Engstrom/For

Social media users may have more questions than answers about elections results after seeing some of the information being shared on Facebook and other platforms.

The Rappahannock News asked University of Virginia School of Law Professor Dan Ortiz to help us answer your questions. Ortiz is an expert in elections and has written many essays on the American electoral system.

How possible is voter fraud?

“There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud,” Ortiz said. “In person impersonation where someone shows up at the polls and pretends to be someone else is incredibly [rare]. On the other hand there was an example that a Republican operative in a congressional primary basically fixed the primary and he was prosecuted. But even that was on a small scale.”

Is it illegal to continue to count ballots after Election Day?


“Some laws require military ballots to be processed after the election just because … you can’t expect them to come in ahead of time,” Ortiz said. “There’s no federal constitutional requirement that all the votes have to be counted on the day.”

Every state is responsible for its own election laws — a quirk which some say protects our elections from tampering. In Virginia, absentee ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 3 will be counted in final vote tallies. That is why some vote counts may change after unofficial results are reported on election night.

I saw a video on Facebook of a poll worker marking ballots. Isn’t that evidence of voter fraud?


A viral video of a poll worker in Delaware County, Pa., has been circulating on social media and was recently shared on the new Facebook group Rapp Uncensored. The video has received a rating of “False” by PolitiFact’s fact checking team. The footage is narrated by a man who claims that “this lady is marking the ballots … I filmed her a half hour ago doing six and she’s still working at it. … And there’s a security guard who’s right there watching her. The cops are in on it! Disgusting."

The video, which has been flagged by Facebook as having been altered, was taken out of context from a livestream on a Delaware County website. Delaware County spokesperson told PolitiFact that the video had been cropped to exclude the “bipartisan poll watchers who were not more than six feet away.”

The poll worker in the video was copying information from a damaged ballot onto a new ballot that would allow the vote to be tabulated correctly.

“Some ballots, whether they’re in person or by mail, become so degraded that the machines can’t process them,” Ortiz explained. “Imagine a particular sheet goes through [the machine] and gets jammed … it’s quite possible that the machine could jam and rip it, in which case it could never really go through. In cases of mail, of course, the voter themself is not there. So it’s nothing surprising [to duplicate a ballot] … it’s not the same thing as counting a vote twice.”

If there is no fraud going on, why do we know the outcomes of house and senate races in some states before we know the outcome of the presidential race in those same states?

Ortiz said there is no one-size-fits-all explanation for this phenomenon.

“The presidential race is the one that was creating the most interest,” he said, “so it wouldn’t be surprising that there would be more differences in the late ballots at the presidential level. Trump, for example, advised his supporters not to vote by mail and Democrats didn’t have the same concern.”

So, Ortiz said, it’s not surprising that there would be a big shift when the mail-in ballots started to be counted, making the presidential race difficult to call until all the votes are counted.

“I can’t generalize across every state, but it’s certainly the case that in many states the senate races are pretty close, too,” Ortiz said.

(47) comments


From what I’ve seen so far, this country is almost split 50/50 in its choice of candidates. Given the polling, I’m just surprised there was no blue wave which would have indicated many more seats in the Democrat column and a larger popular vote difference for President.


This is hilarious, talk about the mockingbird media for the low IQ. Some day at some point you’ll have to reckon for all these lies and misinformation, disgusting.


@Halyork. Go peddle your OANN conspiracy theories elsewhere. If you have proof of widespread voter fraud, provide it.


It’s been a problem for years. From dead people voting, over 10k in Michigan alone to six figure ballot dumps all for one candidate to ballots pouring in during the middle of the night. In 2012 Philly had precincts that reported 100% for Obama, a mathematical impossibility. I don’t know if you’re being genuine or sarcastic, but if you’re sincere you are one useful idiot to say the least.


Debunked claim:


I’m on the fence here. But if President Trump knew how broken the voting system was, why didn’t he do anything about it or even mention it until this past summer? 🤔


@ Halyork. Please cite your reference, other than hearsay

Wake Up & Smell The Coffee!

@JW - This isn’t discovery, ya know. You don’t get to have all the evidence. So both sides will simply have to wait.


Sinclair Broadcast Group?


I don’t know about voter fraud but I’ve read some pretty audacious comments being made by leftist Democrats, e.g. Ocasio-Cortez sees Republicans’ tweets, photos, posts being deleted in the future. A New York Times contributing editor just called for the Republican Party to be torn down, burned, rebuilt. Even Michelle Obama has taken a veiled swipe at Republicans. There’s more.


Insidenova doing it’s part for the group think echo chamber. InsideNova couldn’t possibly say it is troubling when an election officer in Detroit posts on FB that he is proud that he threw thousands of Trump Ballots in the trash before they were counted.


Wow, if it was on Facebook it has to be true.



Why on earth would someone who wants to effectively tamper with probably the most watched-over national election in US history commit thousands of felonies AND THEN POST ABOUT IT ON FACEBOOK???

I used to scoff at the term "cult of Trump" but it's become quite clear you people are just bugnuts crazy.


Why would a Vice Presidents son smoke crack? Why would he get millions from the Ukraine and the Mayor of Moscow?

Where are some people such sheep that they only believe the echo chamber of MSM and the group think of the party?


@ Citizen1. Please cite your reference, other than hearsay

Wake Up & Smell The Coffee!

@PWCParent -You might think a Trump supporters are crazy. But I believe that many Biden supporters are gullible, ill-informed or filled with hate.

As someone who votes on issues vs. party affiliation, I frequently review a variety of news sources. This allows me to derive a well thought conclusion. Hadn’t I garnered information from both sides, I’d be shockingly uninformed! The amount of information withheld or trivialized (by Left leaning news), was baffling. And at some point, I deemed it blatant censorship.

I’m not sure which category in which you’d fall. But at some point, you’ll recognize that you’ve been taken for a ride.


I would LOVE for you to walk me through the scenario... with all of the other people in the room.

Let's use this article as a starting point:

Now, present us with an airtight story about how it all went down.


Ha, you’re source is a fake news source. That’s why you are misinformed. Why don’t you find a article from next?


Ha! You still believe crap on the internet. That's why you are misinformed.

Oh, wait... Your feeble mind can't deal with legit news and dismisses reality.

How bout some more sites that detail the process:,_counting,_and_challenging_absentee/mail-in_ballots_in_Virginia,_2020

There is no spin to a process that is established by the state. This is not a political thing. It shows how the votes are tabulated and what the poll workers do.

How bout you find something contrary that details what goes on when the votes are counted. Otherwise, have a nice day.


I'm just glad Mr. Bean stopped linking to Wikipedia.


Washington Post? Are you serious? Is there a more discredited news source in America? Unlikely, unless it's the New York Times. They are 99% fake using false flags and straw men, and when they do report the facts, they spin them to mean the opposite.


Here you go:

Links within the article go to USPS and NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures).

Rules are rules.

PWC resident since '69

Whether or not there was widespread voter fraud a few things are certain.

1) Hillary told Biden “do not concede under any circumstance” no big deal, so why should Trump

2) Gore did not concede in 2000 for 37 days and only when it was certain he had no path, so when tber is zero percent chance of a Trump win he should concede. The media cheered Gore’s defiant stance.

3) staci Abrams would not concede and asked for recount, her right...afford Trump that same right.

4)Let the process play out, the 146 million that voted deserve no less or our system will be completely indermined.


Everything I need, I learned in Kindergarten. Be a humble winner and gracious loser. 😁


And trump is neither of these honorable things.

Wake Up & Smell The Coffee!

Updated version...Everyone’s a winner because there are no losers anymore. We all get a trophy because we’re all equal now.

What I learned in Kindergarten? “It ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings”.


I feel so much more confident in our election process, now that an expert like Dan Ortiz has explained it to me. We know that experts, especially those associated with the University of Virginia School of Law would not lead us astray. They are good people and their expertise cannot be questioned by the sniveling masses. We just don't understand the complicated intricacies of elections and corruption.

Actually what Dan Ortiz is an expert in is spinning the narrative so as to discredit credible accusations of voting fraud. He finds the one extremely rare example of a Republican cheating and then he uses several examples of obvious examples of wild stories to show how stupid and unlikely real voter fraud is. He totally ignores the 800 lb. gorilla in the room. This is the trademark of today's left. Dan Ortiz knows his points are BS and almost nobody will change their mind based on them, and Rachel Needham is likely smart enough too, but she is wanting to make a name for herself within journalism ranks, and this fits the narrative perfectly. In today's journalism, ideology trumps integrity everytime.


I forgot to mention, Dan Ortiz should stick to important things like fighting Virginia's ridiculous laws on interstate wine sales.


Looks like MAGA snowflakes are mad the election didn't go there way despite GOP gains in the House, Governorships, limiting gains in the Senate, and State Legislatures a lot of conservative Republicans like myself voted for Biden, and some in other states split their tickets. Absolutely ZERO evidence of voter fraud.


Another basement ninja speaks [ninja]


I'm sure a khalsa warrior is a conservative republican. Nice try. Amazing how all those other victories came without the president benefiting.


I do not for one minute believe you are a conservative Republican. Are you telling me you voted for the guy who wants to bring back a bigger and more controlling health care plan? You voted for a guy who wants to go back to the US paying 5 times its fair share of NATO, the UN and WHO? A guy who supports defunding police and sending funds to social workers? A guy who wants to ban fracking and make the US dependent on foriegn oil? A guy with deep financial family ties with the Chinese and other foreign nations, many quite questionable? You want to vote against a guy who has put 3 excellent jurists on the Supreme Court who base their judgements on law and the constitution and not political whims? You are in no way a conservative Republican. You are a fool at best and most likely a liar.


Cry more MAGAts, it's been too much fun laughing at your bawling, Trump has no path to victory, absolute zilch in terms of any credible voter fraud that wasn't the two cases of GOPers trying to vote twice following their orange Jesus.

PWC resident since '69

Big pharma definitely wanted Trump out, Biden is so in bed with pill makers, even Hunter is jealous of his dad’s drug connections!

Catherine Christine

Even deceased boxer Joe Frazier cast a ballot in this year’s Presidential election. I’m praying that the dead are praying for Truth. The dead that is who are still able to pray. Much PEACE to all of us - living and deceased.


@ Catherine Christine. Please cite your reference, other than hearsay


It is sad that you Trump deplorables claim election fraud. You folks did not complain in 2016 when Russia interfered with the election. Trump set a up a commission on voter fraud and Mike Pence headed it, but silently closed it down because they was NO evidence of voter fraud. You folks are adults who won't think or research for yourselves and will believe a pathological liar like Trump. You know right from wrong, but choose to ignore the truth because you have those same qualities like Trump. You have no morals, integrity, standards, and you are ignorant to true facts to support his conspiracy theories. Grow up and learn to love instead of your daily negativity on true facts.


I swear the few posts by you I have read you can replace trump with Biden and it would be more accurate and right on point.

Comment deleted.

Pfizer wasn't part of Operation Warp Speed and accepted no government funding. Pence tried to take credit for something that he was not involved in.

Here is the news from May:

All other vaccines are generally approaching the same timetable for availability. It's just that Pfizer may not be free.

But even with a vaccine theoretically becoming available, there is a sizable portion of the US population that is too dumb to wear a mask and will refuse the vaccine (rendering the effectiveness moot).


Total fraud. No vote should be counted after election day midnight.

You do understand different states have different rules and just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it’s not legal. Too bad, so sad.


You do understand state rules were not followed in Pennsylvania?


At least we can whine about it for the next four years like the left did. Its only fair. "resist we much" "impeach 46" what's the best store to trash and get an oled TV out of it? asking for a friend


Is this person teaching students? Explains a lot

Wake Up & Smell The Coffee!

Have you ever received the wrong person’s mail? Have you ever not received an expected piece of mail? Have you ever had your identity stolen? Do you know of someone who’s dead & still receiving mail? Do you know someone looking to make a quick buck? Do you know of someone who’d be willing to (discreetly) accept money to vote a certain way?

Did you say “yes” to any of the above questions? Then you should easily understand how voter fraud became rampant. All you need is a strong desire to win and some cash. Mind you, this is only a few of the numerous ways voter fraud is committed. If you still don’t believe in rampant voter fraud, please contact me. I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.


I would like one bridge please.

Can you show me this bridge? Or are you gonna make up something.

This is precisely why all of Trumps lawsuits are being shooed away as the are frivolous and go against 1993 Scalia ruling on such lawsuits: the plaintiff must provide the evidence in such matters before filing.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.