COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Officials from the Franklin County Board of Elections are investigating claims from a website that a nefarious plot to switch ballot boxes this November is afoot.

Preliminary findings from that investigation say such a plot isn’t true.

The claims come from an article appearing on a website called “Christian Times Newspaper.”  According to the article, an unnamed source says that a maintenance worker inspecting a warehouse found 12 sealed ballot boxes filled with thousands of votes for Hillary Clinton the upcoming general election. The website on which the article appears asserts that the “likely goal was to slip the fake ballot boxes in with real ballot boxes.”

the Birmingham Post

The Franklin County Board of Elections says the article is fake. It even discovered the photo portrayed as the worker standing with the ballot boxes was lifted from a 2015 article in the Birmingham Post, an English newspaper, and altered slightly, with some of the ballot boxes re-positioned and resized. Some of the labels were also blurred out.

The article also includes an apparent photo of one of the ballots. It fails to mention that the ballot photo clearly reads “sample.” While some fields are filled in, the ballot would not be counted as a legit ballot because it reads sample.

Elections officials would like to remind everyone absentee voting in the state does not start until Oct. 12. The Board of Elections says that no ballots have been printed or mailed, except for those that were requested by members of the military and US citizens who live abroad.

The Board of Elections also has several security measures in place to help uphold the integrity of the electoral process:

  • The computer system used to create the ballot and tabulate results is not connected to an

    outside network and thus is not vulnerable to outside intrusion.

  • Each ballot storage vault is maintained under a double lock requiring a Democrat and

    Republican to simultaneously unlock.

  • A double lock system is used to secure the Vote Center and must be unlocked by a Democrat

    and Republican simultaneously.

  • Both parties are required to sign a chain of custody for all mailed ballots delivered to or picked

    up from the USPS.

  • Access to sensitive ballot storage areas are secured by keys that are maintained in storage

    containers requiring palm scan access.

  • Votes are recorded in three ways (1) in a hard drive within the voting machine, (2) on the

    removable voting machine data card, and (3) on a paper tape inside the voting machine.

  • When the vote is counted, it’s done in a public setting which can be observed by parties, any

    campaign, the media, and the public.