A viral video that purports to show about 80 “ballots,” all for Donald Trump, being burned is fake, Virginia Beach city officials say.
The video, which surfaced on Tuesday, features a man with a plastic bag full of papers that look like ballots, which he doused with a flammable liquid and set aflame. The person, whose face is never shown, claims the 80 false “ballots” are “all for President Trump” on the video. Though the location is not discussed on the video, the races on the papers are from Virginia Beach, Virginia.
However, the ballots are not real. The city of Virginia Beach said the papers are clearly sample ballots, rather than official ballots, since they lack the “bar code markings that are on all official ballots,” according to a statement released on Tuesday afternoon. The statement showed an official ballot and compared it to a screenshot of the false video.
Christine Lewis, Virginia Beach’s deputy registrar, pointed out to CNN that her office was quick to highlight the deception in an effort to prevent the spread of misinformation.
City communications director Julie Hill added that police and fire investigators are now looking into the matter.
Despite being debunked on Tuesday, the video continued to be shared on social media. The video eventually made its way to right-wing media sites like the Gateway Pundit, which posted a version of the clip on Wednesday afternoon. Eric Trump shared the video at around 3:40pm on Wednesday.
The version Eric Trump shared had about 1.2 million views alone. CNN found three other accounts that posted the same video that had more than 115,000 combined views.
Eric Trump shared the video by retweeting an account that posted it. The account Eric Trump retweeted has now been suspended, which means the video can no longer be seen on Eric Trump’s feed.
The Gateway Pundit did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.