Novembre 10 2022
2022 Midterm Election Misinformation Tracking Center by NewsGuard

NewsGuard analysts are monitoring the spread of top myths related to this year’s U.S. midterm elections

As political misinformation has continued to spread online during the 2022 campaign season, NewsGuard’s team of analysts has monitored the media landscape for prominent myths connected to voting and individual races. As of Nov. 9, 2022, we have identified 14 Myths promoted on 20 websites.

NewsGuard will regularly update this Election Misinformation Tracker through and past Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022. Check back here for the newest trending myths, which are added to the top of the list.

MYTH: Sharpie pens were improperly used to vote in Illinois

On Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, social media users claimed that voters were improperly using sharpie pens to vote in Illinois.

“La Grange [Illinois] Precinct 89 voters report sharpies being used on ballots, which isn’t allowed. NO SHARPIES ON BALLOTS,” the Twitter account run by Awake Illinois, a conservative activist group, tweeted. “Sharpie fraud in Illinois,” user @RoBoCo_2 posted on Twitter.

Other users claimed that sharpies would bleed through the ballots, rendering them invalid. “Why does Illinois have a double-sided ballot and then demand voters use a sharpie that will undoubtedly lead through the paper causing the ballot invalid? Why is this ok?” Truth Social user @CARDINALSARERED posted.

In fact, it is legal to vote with sharpie pens in Illinois, and the ballots are designed so that the ink does not bleed through. In response to Awake Illinois’ tweet, the Illinois State Board of Elections tweeted on Nov. 8, 2022, “Sharpies are an approved ballot marking device for many voting systems.”

In a follow-up tweet posted the same day, the Illinois State Board of Elections stated, “The ballots are intentionally designed so that bleedthrough does not cause a problem. The target ovals on one side [of a ballot] don’t overlap on the other side.”

On Nov. 8 2022, Max Bever, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections, told WTTW-TV, a PBS-affiliated station, that if ballots are “contaminated” by a bleedthrough a voter will receive a new ballot.

During the 2020 election, similar false claims were made about sharpies being improperly used in Illinois. In November 2020, the Illinois State Board of Elections published a press release stating “Ballots in Illinois are designed so that the ‘target area’ — the oval to be filled in to mark a vote — on one side of a ballot does not align with a target area on the reverse side of the ballot. Thus, a vote on the reverse side could not be accidentally cast by ink soaking through.”

MYTH: A photograph shows Dr. Mehmet Oz posing with a campaign sign that says “No”

On Aug. 12, 2022, Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee for one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seats, posed for a photograph at a campaign stop with staff at the Capitol Diner in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, according to The Associated Press.

The image taken at the event, and which was uploaded to Oz’s social media accounts, shows Oz posing next to a campaign sign that was positioned horizontally and read “Oz.” Oz’s social media posts said: “From the dinner table to the Capitol Diner here in Harrisburg, Pennsylvanians are ready for new leadership. I’ll fight for PA small businesses in the U.S. Senate.” Fact-checkers with USA Today and Reuters later reported that this was the original version of the photo.

Soon after Oz’s campaign stop, however, an altered version of the photo was shared widely on Twitter and Facebook, in which the sign that said “Oz” was rotated so that it appeared to say “No.” One Aug. 28, 2022, Twitter post contained the altered image and the caption, “Dr. Oz gets trolled everywhere he goes and it makes me so happy.”

Katya Rodriquez, the Capitol Diner staff member who held the sign in the photo, told the AP that she was holding it horizontally — accurately spelling Oz’s last name — when the photo was taken. Oz’s senior communications advisor, Rachel Tripp, also told the AP that she took the photo, and that the sign was rotated correctly.

MYTH: Arizona Democrat Katie Hobbs staged a burglary at her campaign headquarters

The Phoenix campaign headquarters of Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs was burglarized on Oct. 24, 2022, according to police reports

Hobbs’ campaign manager, Nicole DeMont, suggested in a statement issued on Oct. 26, 2022, that the break-in resulted from the rhetoric of Hobbs’ opponent, Republican Kari Lake. “Secretary Hobbs and her staff have faced hundreds of death threats and threats of violence over the course of this campaign,” DeMont said. “Let’s be clear: for nearly two years Kari Lake and her allies have been spreading dangerous misinformation and inciting threats against anyone they see fit.” DeMont did not specify what “misinformation” he was referring to. 

When a reporter asked Lake about DeMont’s claim that same day, Lake replied: “That is absolutely absurd. And are you guys buying that? Are you really buying that? Because this sounds like ‘a Jussie Smollett’ part two.”

Many observers interpreted Lake’s reference to Jussie Smollett — an actor convicted in Chicago in December 2021 of faking a hate crime against himself — as a suggestion that Hobbs faked the incident. Indeed, multiple social media users claimed that Hobbs may have orchestrated the break-in to gain sympathy from voters. 

For example, an Oct. 27, 2022, tweet by conservative pundit Carmine Sabia said, “What a coincidence that Katie Hobbs is pulling a Jussie Smollett because she is getting her clock cleaned by @KariLake. And the media is promoting it.” 

Some conservative websites also speculated that Hobbs staged the burglary. An Oct. 28 poston stated, “FALSE FLAG? Hobbs Blames Lake For Burglary, Then Dodges.” said in the headline of an Oct. 30, 2022, article: “First she [Hobbs] stages a transparent burglary hoax, then she falsely accuses frontrunner Kari Lake of involvement.”There is no evidence that Hobbs staged the burglary (nor is there evidence that Lake’s rhetoric led to the break-in). An Oct. 27 statement from the Phoenix Police Department said that a 36-year-old named Daniel Mota Dos Reis was arrested in the case, after security cameras recorded him breaking into the campaign office. Police also said that Dos Reis had property stolen from Hobbs’ office in his possession when he was first arrested.

MYTH: A Wisconsin city used illegal mobile voting trucks ahead of the August 2022 primary election

On July 30, 2022, The Gateway Pundit, which has a history of publishing misinformation about U.S. politics, reported on a mobile voting truck in Racine, Wisconsin, and falsely claimed that no observers were allowed inside ahead of the state’s Aug. 9, 2022, primary. 

“Soon Democrats will steal and manufacture all of their ghost votes by mobile precincts. You don’t have to be a genius to see that happening. City volunteers and staff work in the buses. But no GOP observers,” The Gateway Pundit stated. On Aug. 13, 2022, The Gateway Pundit published another article about the mobile voting truck, titled “Racine, Wisconsin Used Illegal Mobile Voting Sites in Recent Primary – Same District Where Corrupt GOP Speaker Robin Vos Pulled a 260 Vote Win.”

An August 2022 article by The Associated Press explained that the truck is staffed by city election officials and follows Wisconsin state laws for early-voting sites. According to The AP, the truck is primarily used for early in-person voting starting two weeks before an election, in compliance with Wisconsin state law. 

Contrary to some claims that spread online, the truck is not a ballot drop box. Unlike ballot drop boxes, the truck is staffed and is only open at certain times during the day. Racine City Clerk Tara McMenamin also told The Associated Press that observers are allowed inside the truck.

Sites that have promoted this claim include,, and NewsGuard emailed these sites in November and October 2022. None responded.

MYTH: Maricopa County officials tried to rig Arizona’s 2022 primary election by providing felt-tip pens to voters 

Ahead of Arizona’s August 2022 primary election, the Maricopa County Elections Department announced that in-person voters would be supplied with Pentel felt-tip pens on Election Day instead of Sharpies. 

Hours after the county’s announcement, websites and social media posts claimed that the felt-tip pens were part of a plot to rig Arizona’s elections. For example, a July 2022 article published by, a site funded by the Patriot Party of Arizona Political Action Committee, stated, “#PentelGate is the hot new trend for 2022!! The #Uniparty is rigging the election…again.” It added, “bleed-through on ballots provides the opportunity for fraud.”

There is no evidence that the felt-tip pens supplied at polling centers were “rigging the election” or that they invalidated any ballots. Maricopa County officials switched to felt-tip pens because the ink dries quickly and reduces smudging, resulting in reduced wait times at the polls, according to a July 2022 press release from the county’s elections department.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer told The Associated Press that while both Sharpies and Pentel pens have fast-drying ink, tests showed that felt-tip pens cause less bleed-through. Even in cases of bleed-through, ballots are designed with offset columns to ensure that votes are not impacted, according to the county’s website.

Maricopa election officials say that although bleed-throughs do not impact vote counting, the county decided to stop using Sharpies due to the controversy the markers caused during the 2020 election, when false claims surfaced alleging that Arizona election officials gave Republican voters Sharpies to invalidate their ballots. In a November 2020 letter, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors stated that “Sharpies do not invalidate ballots” and that processes are in place to ensure that bleed-through does not impact votes. is one site that promoted this claim. The site did not respond to a NewsGuard email in November 2022 seeking comment.

MYTH: Fraud prevented Tina Peters from winning Colorado’s 2022 Republican primary for secretary of state

Peters, the El Paso (Colo.) County Clerk and Recorder, lost the June 2022 primary by a sizable margin. She finished second with approximately 180,000 votes, or 28.9 percent of the vote, according to official results available through the Colorado secretary of state’s website. Pam Anderson, a former city and county clerk, won with approximately 269,000 votes, or 43.1 percent, according to the official results.

After the results were tallied, Peters tweeted: “We didn’t lose. We just found more fraud,” NPR reported. Similar claims were repeated on conservative news sites found by NewsGuard to repeatedly publish false content.

For example, in a July 29, 2022, video published on, site (and MyPillow) owner Mike Lindell said: “They cheated [Peters], amongst many others in these primaries. We’re going to get to the bottom of it. She won and we know it.”

However, a risk-limiting audit and a recount confirmed Peters’ defeat. Between July 11 and July 14, 2022, Colorado counties audited Peters’ race and other contests by inspecting a small percentage of ballots and checking how election software recorded those votes. 

The secretary of state’s office said in a July 25, 2022, news release: “The reported winner in all the audited races was confirmed.” Upon Peters’ request, Colorado subsequently conducted a recount, which also confirmed Peters’ defeat, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in an Aug. 4, 2022, news release. is one site that promoted this claim. Site owner Mike Lindell told NewsGuard in an August 2022 phone call: “[Peters] won it and that will be proven. That will be proven.”

MYTH: A local TV station in Michigan reported the state’s primary election results in advance 

News Channel 3 (WWMT) inadvertently posted a trial run of its election coverage nine days before Michigan’s August 2022 primary election, showing random vote counts for Republican gubernatorial and congressional candidates. Almost immediately, fringe news outlets and social media users claimed that the error was indicative of fraud.

On July 24, 2022, The Gateway Pundit published an article titled “CAUGHT: Michigan News Channel Posts Results to Republican Primary Election — That’s Not Until Next Week!!” The article did not actually claim that the station’s move was evidence of fraud. Nevertheless, dozens of websites and social media users, citing The Gateway Pundit, then began advancing the false claim. One undated article on said: “Are the results to each election already written before the voting even takes place? This may lead you to believe the answer to that question is yes.”

However, WWMT clarified in a July 25 article that the mock results were part of an internal test of its election reporting systems. “In advance of Michigan’s Tuesday, Aug. 2 primary election, News Channel 3 was conducting a test of its election systems last week,” WWMT said in a statement on its website. “In doing so, the station inadvertently published mock results on The numbers used were randomly generated and did not reflect actual results.”

Michigan’s Department of State also issued a July 25 statement, clarifying that it was not involved in the test: “Supposed ‘results’ of the Aug. 2 Michigan primary election from WWMT TV-3 appearing online and in Google search results are not real. No votes have been counted in the election.” is one site that promoted this claim. The site did not respond to a contact form from NewsGuard in October 2022 seeking comment. 

MYTH: The U.S. Emergency Alert System is on standby in case Democrats steal the 2022 midterm elections 

The claim that former President Donald Trump sought to mobilize the military ahead of the midterm elections apparently originated on, a website that regularly publishes false stories about U.S. politics. A Sept. 18, 2022, story on the site, titled “EAS on Standby for Midterms,” claimed that “Trump said the military must use the EAS if the Deep State steals the midterms, for the results will affect the 2024 presidential election.” 

There is no evidence that former President Trump has instructed the military to trigger the Emergency Alert System (EAS), and he lacks the authority to do so anyway. Trump has not made any public comments about this subject, and a Pentagon spokesperson told fact-checking organization that the claim is “false.”

EAS is a national public warning system jointly operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service. It is not run by the U.S. military. The system is commonly used to broadcast urgent emergency information, such as weather and Amber alerts.

Sites that have promoted this claim include, and and did not respond to a November 2022 email and did not respond to a November 2022 contact form from NewsGuard seeking comment.

MYTH: Beto O’Rourke campaign workers raided nursing homes to steal votes from the infirm and elderly 

On Oct. 1, 2022, a video appearing to show an interaction between two canvassers for Beto O’Rourke’s campaign for Texas governor and an assisted living facility resident began circulating on social media. 

On Oct. 4, 2022, NewsGuard found that The Gateway Pundit reported on the video in an article titled “CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Beto O’Rourke Campaign Workers Raid Assisted Living Facility Hunting for Votes – Democrats Stealing Votes from the Weak and Elderly.”

“An assisted living resident is confronted by Beto O’Rourke campaign workers who are raiding nursing homes to steal votes from the weak and elderly,” the article stated. The story was republished in full on multiple fringe websites

The video, which was reviewed by NewsGuard, begins with one of the canvassers saying, “We’re talking to our neighbors just to make sure you know there’s an election coming up, and we want to encourage you to vote for Beto at the top of the ballot for governor on down.” An apparent assisted living facility resident —  a man who appears confused for much of the encounter — then asked, “Who do you want me to vote for?” The canvasser responded, “We recommend that you vote Democratic from the top to the bottom.”

Later in the video, the canvasser told the man to “Definitely vote for Beto” and two other Democrats, appearing to point to their names on a pamphlet.

Despite The Gateway Pundit’s claims, the canvassers’ actions appear to comply with state and federal laws, and is not evidence of “stealing votes,” as Gateway Pundit claimed. 

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly reaffirmed the right of individuals to go door-to-door for political activity. Moreover, federal and Texas law allows canvassers to enter private property — including nursing homes and assisted living facilities — as long as it is between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and the canvasser has permission to enter the property. Canvassers are legally allowed to distribute campaign literature in person or to leave it in a place that is easily visible to voters.

Sites that have promoted this claim include, and The first two sites did not respond to an email from NewsGuard in November 2022, and did not respond to a contact form submitted that month. Another site that promoted this claim,, does not provide for a way to contact the site.

MYTH: A video shows election officials in Washington state illegally closing ballot drop boxes 

Days after Washington’s Aug. 2, 2022, primary election, video surfaced of a woman driving up to a ballot box in Clark County and interacting with an election worker holding a blue bag and collecting ballots. In the video, the election worker tells the woman in her car that she can drop off her ballot in the bag or leave it in the ballot drop box.

Captions of the video that were shared on social media stated that the election worker “illegally” closed the ballot drop box 30 minutes prior to the 8 p.m. deadline, and cited the interaction as evidence of election wrongdoing. A July 2022 caption of the video on Twitter stated: “ILLEGAL: Clark County election workers closed the ballot drop boxes 30 mins prior to closing. All citizens of Washington state are granted by law to drop their ballots by 8 pm on the dot…Demand a revote!”

However, Washington state and Clark County officials told news outlets, including The Associated Press, that the video shows an election worker providing extra ballot collection support — a standard practice under Washington’s state election law — and not “illegally” closing a ballot drop box 30 minutes early. 

The Washington Secretary of State’s director of external affairs, Charles Boisner, told fact-checking website Lead Stories in an Aug. 15, 2022, article: “The election workers were doing their job staffing the drop box site to help save time and relieve congestion, especially at a busy location.” Clark County Elections Supervisor Cathie Garber told Reuters in August 2022 that starting at 7:30 p.m. on Election Night, the county instructs staff members at ballot deposit sites to gather ballots into a secured bag to allow the voting line to move more quickly. “All ballots received from the boxes and voters are placed in official bags and sealed with accountability seals before they leave the drop box location,” Garber told Reuters.

MYTH: House Democrats voted to allow non-citizens to vote in U.S. elections 

On Sept. 21, 2022, House Judiciary Committee Democrats voted down a Republican amendment to a Democratic bill that would provide grants for states to distribute translated voting materials. The bill would also commission a study on the impact of making election materials more readily available and providing them in multiple languages. The proposed amendment, introduced by Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, stated that nothing in the bill should be construed as allowing non-citizens to vote in federal, state, and local elections.

The amendment was rejected by the Judiciary Committee, with 21 Democrats opposing the proposal and 12 Republicans supporting it. Democrats said it was redundant and therefore unnecessary. The bill “would not change a single practical aspect about federal law applicable to non-citizen voting,” Daniel Rubin, a Democratic aide to the Judiciary Committee, told Reuters.

Shortly after the vote, the Twitter account for House Judiciary Committee Republicans posted: “#BREAKING: Judiciary Democrats just voted to support NON-CITIZENS voting in our elections. There’s no hiding it. Democrats WANT non-citizens voting in our elections.”

Some conservative websites echoed the claim. For example,, a site that NewsGuard has found to repeatedly publish false content, published an article stating: “The House Judiciary voted to allow non-citizens to vote….” stated: “In a proposed amendment to House Resolution 8770, Democrat judiciary committee members supported a measure allowing non-citizens to vote in our elections.”

As Democrats noted during the Sept. 21, 2022, committee meeting, federal law currently prohibits non-citizens from voting in federal elections — and nothing in the proposed measure would change that.

NewsGuard reviewed the text of the bill and did not find any provisions that could be fairly interpreted as allowing non-citizens to vote. The proposed bill did not address expanding voting rights for non-citizens or undocumented immigrants, and in fact, did not mention non-citizens or undocumented immigrants at all. 

Sites that promoted this claim included, and and, which share an owner, did not respond to an October 2022 email from NewsGuard seeking comment on this claim. did not respond to a November 2022 email.

MYTH: The CEO of Michigan software company Konnech was involved in a voter fraud scheme 

Eugene Yu, the founder and chief executive of Konnech, an election management software company based in East Lansing, Michigan, was arrested on Oct. 4, 2022, on suspicion of stealing Los Angeles (California) County poll workers’ personal information. 

In October 2020, Los Angeles County signed a five-year, $2.9 million contract with Konnech to use its election worker management system called PollChief, which helps election administrators track poll workers’ schedules, payrolls, and communications, according to the Konnech website. While Konnech was contractually required to keep poll workers’ personal information in the U.S., the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office alleged that the information was instead stored on servers in China.

After Yu’s arrest, the conspiracy-oriented websites and, among others, published an op-ed by editor-in-chief J.D. Rucker that called Konnech “the company that appears to be at the heart of the voter fraud that stole the 2020 election.”

However, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office emphasized in a statement that the data potentially stored on Chinese servers could not have impacted the result of the 2020 election. “This investigation is concerned solely with the personal identifying information of election workers,” the statement said. “In this case, the alleged conduct had no impact on the tabulation of votes and did not alter election results.”

Sites that have promoted this claim include,, and and both did not respond to a NewsGuard email in November 2022 and did not respond to a contact form from NewsGuard in November 2022. Asked about the story on, site co-owner Raymond Dietrich told NewsGuard in an October 2022 email: “We don’t answer to communist fact checkers, have a good day.”

MYTH: An investigation into a Dominion error code revealed that 97% of Georgia counties miscounted ballots 

The claim originated from a little-known organization called the Election Oversight Group, whose research was cited in an Oct. 4, 2022, article by Kanekoa News, an anonymously run digital newsletter with the tagline: “Investigative Journalism. Censored Topics. America First.” Kanekoa News’s article, titled “Bombshell Dominion ‘Error Code’ Uncovered in 97% of Georgia Counties,” reported that the Election Oversight Group obtained records proving that seven ballot scanners in Williamson County, Tennessee, miscounted hundreds of ballots in a 2021 county election.

After the Election Oversight Group learned of the so-called “Tennessee Error,” it found that the error had occurred during 2020 and 2022 primary elections in 64 of the 66 Georgia counties for which the group was able to obtain records, according to Kanekoa News.

However, while error codes were indeed reported in Tennessee’s October 2021 election, all ballots were counted, according to a final report and press release on the issue by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which earlier this year investigated the alleged discrepancies. The EAC also said that the issue occurred in only one Tennessee county and did not impact the state’s election results.  (The EAC is a bipartisan, independent federal agency focused on monitoring adherence to the 2002 Help America Vote Act, according to the EAC’s website.) 

“The anomaly in Tennessee resulted in valid ballots being sorted into a provisional ballot category,” the EAC stated in an April 1, 2022, press release. “A real time hand-recount ensured that the election remained accurate and secure. … There are no other reports of this anomaly, aside from the isolated incident in Tennessee.” 

Multiple experts also told fact-checking website in October 2022 that the error message does not mean that the results of the Georgia elections were compromised in any way. When a QR code error appears, Lead Stories reported, poll workers either rescan the ballot or count it by hand.

MYTH: As a state senator, Katie Hobbs voted to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance from Arizona schools

In September 2022, Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake posted a three-minute video on Twitter, stating that her Democratic opponent, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, previously voted to block historic U.S. documents from being taught in Arizona schools. “As a legislator, Hobbs actually voted to block the Pledge of Allegiance, our National Anthem, our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and even the Mayflower Compact from being taught to the next generation of Americans right here in Arizona,” Lake said in the video. As evidence, Lake cited Hobbs’s 2018 vote against a measure in the state Senate.

Numerous conservative websites reported on Lake’s claim about Hobbs’ voting record without challenging it, but the claim is false. In 2018, a bill in Arizona was signed into law that amended the list of U.S. history materials that teachers are allowed to read or display in their classrooms. It is true that Hobbs, at the time a state senator, voted against the bill. However, under pre-existing Arizona law, that list of acceptable materials already included the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem, the Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution. Senate Bill 1289 added Arizona’s state motto, “Ditat Deus,” meaning “God Enriches,” to the list. The approved list of materials that teachers can read and post in Arizona schools also already included the national motto. The bill simply proposed including the actual language of the motto — “In God We Trust” — instead of just referring to it generally.

NewsGuard reviewed the text of Senate Bill 1289 and found that the bill did not alter the portion of the law that already allowed teachers to read or post the Pledge of Allegiance, the U.S. Constitution, the National Anthem, and the Declaration of Independence. Thus, if the bill had failed, it would not have kept the Pledge of Allegiance and the other texts cited by Lake out of Arizona schools.

Lake’s campaign did not respond to NewsGuard’s inquiries about the matter. However, Lake defended her original claim in a Sept. 21, 2022, tweet, stating, “We didn’t put clips of all of the bills that we referred to in that video. We are referring to SB1289, SB1152 and SB1020. Between those three bills she was opposed to displaying the American flag, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution.” 

Lake’s tweet did not specify in which legislative session the two additional bills, Senate Bill 1152 and Senate Bill 1020, originated. It appears she was referring to a bill introduced in 2011 that primarily clarified that “home schools” are a form of non-public education, and that made other technical changes related to the use of the U.S. founding documents in classrooms. For example, the bill proposed changing a provision stating that school districts “shall purchase” the founding documents to a requirement that they “acquire” the materials.  The other bill proposed changes to sex education in public schools. 

Neither measure in any way would have prevented the teaching of the U.S. founding documents in Arizona schools.

By Sam HowardLorenzo ArvanitisJack BrewsterValerie Pavilonis, McKenzie Sadeghi,Andie Slomka, and Macrina Wang | Last updated: Nov. 9, 2022