Fact Check

Postal Worker Caught Destroying Absentee Trump Ballots in Major Swing State

A Twitter user claimed to be a postal worker who regularly destroys mailed-in Trump votes in Ohio, but the issue appeared to be a joke taken taken too seriously.

Published Oct 17, 2016

 (Andrew Taylor/Flickr)
Image Via Andrew Taylor/Flickr
A postal worker was caught destroying absentee ballots with Trump votes in the swing state of Ohio.

On 16 October 2016, Twitter user "@randygdub" claimed that he worked for the United States Postal Service (USPS) in Columbus, Ohio, and enjoyed "ripping up" absentee ballots cast for Donald Trump:

The tweet went viral and provoked significant outrage, prompting several web sites to inaccurately report that a USPS employee was "caught" ripping up Trump ballots.  The person who tweeted this was not a confirmed postal worker, much less caught in the act. Many people in the angry camp apparently did not view the rest of @randygdub's tweets, which are inconsistent and apparently published solely to cause controversy:

The user posted no proof of employment with USPS or any organization, nor was his story particularly plausible:

We contacted the Franklin County Board of Elections and the Ohio Secretary of State's Elections division and asked about the mailing format of Ohio's absentee ballots. They told us that Ohio's absentee ballots are enclosed in not one but two secrecy envelopes, making it impossible for postal workers to identify "Trump votes" without opening envelopes:

HOT TOPICPostal Worker Caught Destroying Absentee Trump Ballots in Major Swing State

Nevertheless, @USPSHelp was deluged with complaints. A representative confirmed that the Postal Service investigated and determined that "Raandy" was most likely not an employee:

The Postal Service has completed an initial investigation of the mentioned tweets and does not believe these tweets were made by a postal employee. However, the Postal Service will continue to monitor this situation and if it is determined that the individual making the tweets is a postal employee and there is substantiated evidence of mail being tampered with or destroyed , then the Postal Service will take appropriate corrective action to address the situation. Thank you ^cmm

Although many web sites framed the claim to suggest that a USPS employee had been caught ripping up ballot envelopes which contained Trump votes, the claim appeared on social media without any proof to substantiate it.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.