Fact Check

Were 'Black People in Birmingham' Caught Voting Multiple Times With Fake IDs?

A so-called "satire" site published a story falsely claiming black voters committed fraud in Alabama's special election.

Published Dec 13, 2017

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Black voters in Birmingham were caught voting multiple times in thousands of cases during Alabama's special election on 12 December 2017.

On 13 December 2017, a self-described "satire" site posted a story falsely reporting that black voters in Alabama had committed fraud by voting multiple times during a special election the night before, in which Democratic candidate Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore in a closely-watched and hotly-contested fight for the Senate seat left vacant by United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The web site called ReaganWasRight.com reported:

The FEC has announced that it may have to recommend invalidating more than 60K votes from the Birmingham area to the Alabama Secretary of State. according to police logs, poll watchers and a watchdog group from the Heritage Foundation, dozens of people were caught voting multiple times with fake IDs and fake voter registrations.

The problem came to light as one poll watcher witnessed the same two men, who were obviously twins, return to the polls wearing different hats to vote at least four times. When confronted, the two men pushed their way through the crowd and ran.

Nothing about this story is true — if readers scroll to the bottom of the page it bears a label declaring itself "satire," although whether one finds its content funny is, of course, subjective:

The web site ReaganWasRight.com is associated with a network of sites run by Christopher Blair, who writes under various pseudonyms, including "Flagg Eagleton." Although the stories on his sites (which include The Last Line of Defense, Freedum Junkshun, and As American As Apple Pie) are labeled "satire," they contain content many readers mistake as real, particularly when they are picked up and run by bottom-feeder aggregator sites that display no such labels or caveats.

The article in question is a compilation of slopped-together information that has no bearing in reality. The Federal Election Commission oversees campaign finance, but it has no role to play in voting, voter access, or ballots. The "quote" supposedly taken from a Breitbart.com report is falsified. According to the Alabama Secretary of State's office (which does oversee voting and ballots), there have been no reports of widespread voter fraud.

In late October 2017, Blair apologized for another racially-charged story posted on Freedum Junkshun, which falsely reported U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, the "black soldier" who was killed in action along with three others when their patrol was ambushed in Niger, was a deserter.


ReaganWasRight.com. "BREAKING: Black People In Birmingham Caught Voting Multiple Times With Fake IDs."   13 December 2017.

Gillin, Joshua. "If You're Fooled by Fake News, This Man Probably Wrote It."   PolitiFact. 31 May 2017.

Silverman, Craig, and Lytvynenko, Jane. "How a Liberal Troll Became Spammers’ Favorite Fake News Source."   Buzzfeed News. 9 March 2017.

Leonhardt, David. "Voter Fraud in Alabama."   The New York Times. 12 December 2017.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.