It has been over a month since Presidential Election was conducted but numerous claims of missing ballots and voter fraud have continued to do the rounds. Earlier this month photographs and video surfaced, showing a large printer visible from the rear door of a bus claiming that it was an abandoned bus with missing voting machines.
The number plate was that of Buckeye AZ, which further claimed that the bus was filled with missing voting machines from Arizona and was abandoned on the highway. The photograph and video immediately went viral. In fact a post on Parler also claimed that the missing voting machines were confirmed by local police. However, social media users are still unsure about the veracity of the photograph and the claims made and the post continues to get shared every hour in hundreds.
Another Strange Claim
The Facebook post described the bus to be abandoned "just off of East Hwy 85 with [Nevada] plates in Buckeye AZ" and claimed that it was packed with hordes of missing voter machines from Arizona, alleging another instance of voter fraud involved in this year's election. If that was not enough, another post on Parler further claimed that an investigation has been started and the authenticity of the missing voter machines has been "confirmed by local police."
The photograph and video immediately went viral, with many supporting the claim of voter fraud. However, the claims were soon debunked by police. A Facebook post from Buckeye Police Department on December 4 said that the claim was false and nothing but an attempt toward spreading misinformation. The post stated: "It was determined the bus was full of office equipment purchased at a surplus sale, complete with invoices and receipts."
That, although, wasn't enough to silence the social media users as many continued to point out that the close-up picture and video showed a "voting machine."
Why the Confusion?
There are reasons for many not to believe in the statement issued by the Buckeye Police Department. In one of the photographs a sticker on a device indicates that the machine once was part of an Elections Systems & Software (ES&S) product, as the company also manufactures election and voting equipment. However, this wasn't a voting machine neither was it missing and has got nothing to do with allegations of voter fraud.
In fact, the device in the photograph is just a printer that was once part of the manufacturing company's "Ballot on Demand" printing system. To put it more simply, the device is a printer which doesn't have an ES&S computer attached to it but just a sticker because the manufacturing company OKI Data is a subcontractor of ES&S.
OKI Data also manufactures ES&S equipment but it has no relation with the products seen in the bus. A closer look at the device in the photograph shows a sticker with a phone number to call for printer support. The number is that of OKI Data's printer support helpline.
Moreover, things get further clear from the voting machines Arizona uses. Although Arizona uses several ES&S products in its elections, the only approved ballot printing device, according to the state's own documentation, is manufactured by Dominion and is fitted with an HP printer.