Viral video alleging a ballot box had entered Detroit's TCF Center after deadline was actually camera equipment

click to enlarge Viral video alleging a ballot box had entered Detroit's TCF Center after deadline was actually camera equipment

File “camera equipment” under "Things Trump Supporters Have Apparently Never Seen in Person," right next to spellcheck and legal democratic processes.

A video alleging voter fraud from outside Detroit's ballot-counting area at the TCF Center began surfacing early Thursday morning. The video, taken by "Lawyers for Trump" member Kellye SoRelle, was distributed by right-wing website, and shows a man unloading a long black box from a parked white van into a red wagon at 2:40 a.m. The filmmaker suggests the box is a ballot lockbox arriving after Tuesday's ballot deadline.

“Looks like one of those lockboxes. Wish I could tell,” SoRelle can be heard saying. “Where does that guy come from so late at night? I thought all the polling places were closed. Yet we have a box.”

The video amassed 136,408 views, and has since been debunked by WXYZ News. That's because the man unloading the van was a WXYZ photographer and the “lockbox” was, in fact, camera equipment.

“Now, that insinuation is false and the reason we know that is because the man wheeling the wagon, he's a photographer here at Channel 7,” reporter Jenn Schanz said during a broadcast on Thursday morning, before casting major shade by showing the exact wagon and what it was carrying when SoRelle began filming.

“And the wagon, we have it right here, was carrying, as it is now, equipment for our crews who were working long hours here yesterday.”

The video follows a day of non-vi0lent unrest from outside Detroit's TCF Center, where dozens of Trump supporters gathered to pound their fists on windows and demand that election officials "stop the count."

The mostly white mob said they were poll challengers, and claimed that they were prevented from being allowed inside the ballot-counting area to oversee the counting process. Election officials said that the maximum allowed number of Republican poll-watchers was already allowed and that they were turned down due to capacity limits and for being unruly.

“We will not allow anyone to distract us from the job at hand,” Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey warned in a statement on Wednesday. “Our charge is to remain calm, focused, and deliberate as we continue the task at hand.”

Like President Trump, the group falsely alleged that Republicans have been denied “meaningful access” to ballot-counting in Michigan, just one of three states the president has threatened to sue over election-related irregularities, despite the fact that many legal experts have said there has been no evidence of fraud.

“Counting ballots is not fraud. That’s what we do in elections — we count ballots,” Lonna Atkeson, director of the University of New Mexico’s Center for the Study of Voting, Elections and Democracy told Al Jazeera.

The ballot box conspiracy video is just one of several being widely shared on social media from disgruntled Trump supporters, like Eric Trump's since-deleted and debunked Twitter reshare of a video showing 80 ballots favoring his father being burned in Virginia, or disinformation relating to the use of Sharpie markers invalidating votes from conservative areas in Arizona. #SharpieGate, too, has been flagged as being fake, but was originally sparked by a video in which a woman claimed she witnessed poll workers distribute Sharpies on election day to purposefully invalidate ballots.

As of Thursday morning, Joe Biden has reportedly received more votes than any presidential candidate in history, with more than 69.9 million Americans favoring the former Vice President. Michigan flipped for Biden, too, handing him a state that Trump narrowly won in 2016 in a surprise upset.

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