Social posts blame election results on unsubstantiated fraud

As election results came in last week from Kentucky and Virginia, social media posts offered an unsubstantiated explanation for Republican losses: voter fraud.

The messages seized on small-scale voting issues or pushed inaccurate reports to question all the results, including the defeat of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and the victory of Democrats who won control of the Virginia Legislature.

The posts claimed that thousands of dead people voted and that voters were turned away or given misprinted ballots. One Twitter user suggested that new voting machines led to sweeping errors.

Election officials say the elections experienced only minor disruptions, not widespread fraud.

Political science professor Charles Stewart III says the posts provide a glimpse into the type of misinformation that could cloud next year’s presidential race.

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