'Ballot Box' sign on trash can was ad for exhibit, not voter fraud

  • Mail-in ballots for the 2020 General Election in the United States are seen after being sorted at the Chester County Voter Services office, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in West Chester, Pa.

    Mail-in ballots for the 2020 General Election in the United States are seen after being sorted at the Chester County Voter Services office, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in West Chester, Pa. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/31/2020 6:31 PM

An Instagram user recently posted photos of a man in Philadelphia placing "Ballot Box" signs on trash cans, supposedly showing an attempt at voter suppression.

"Stay vigilant, people. They will try anything. Make sure you drop off your ballot to a legit ballot box," the post read. An added comment said the "dude needs to be arrested."

 

But the dude wasn't trying to suppress votes or deceive anyone, according to PolitiFact.com. He was distributing posters to advertise an exhibit on the history of voting rights titled, "Ballot Box: America's Fight for the Vote."

The Union League Legacy Foundation, the group behind the exhibit, took to Facebook to clear up any misunderstanding.

"We understand that there was confusion about the signs installed early this morning on trash receptacles about our exhibit on voting rights. The signs were removed," the Oct. 23 post said.

"There was no mal-intent -- simply a flubbed execution on marketing," said Kira Foley-Tuzman, chief administrative officer.

City sanitation workers sorted through those trash bins looking for ballots, but none were found, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

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Not all presidents were Ivy Leaguers

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden recently referred to a claim that he could be the first president in nearly a century who didn't attend an Ivy League school.

"I read some stories after I got the nomination that quote, 'If Biden gets elected, he'll be the first non-Ivy League school graduate to get elected in ... it was 80 or 90 years,'" he said during an Oct. 12 campaign stop in Toledo, Ohio. "But folks, since when can someone who went to a state university not be qualified to be president?"

Biden, who went to the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School, is off on the time span, according to FactCheck.org. Although the last five presidents attended Ivy League schools, it's been just 32 years since Ronald Reagan, who graduated from Eureka College, was in office.

Eureka College, in Eureka, Illinois, claims to be the smallest college to graduate a U.S. president. Other recent presidents who were not Ivy League graduates include Richard Nixon, who attended Whittier College and Duke University Law School, and Jimmy Carter, who graduated from the Naval Academy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Ad takes quote taken out of context

A Twitter post last week from President Donald Trump's reelection campaign makes it appear that challenger Joe Biden is confused. A six-second video clip has Biden asking, "Why am I doing this? Why? What is my real aim?"

Biden said that during an Oct. 27 speech in Warm Springs, Georgia, according to PolitiFact.com. But he wasn't mixed up, he was quoting Pope Francis from an Oct. 3 encyclical letter in which the Pope said people who want to lead should reflect on their purpose.

During the speech, Biden said Francis is warning against "phony populism" that appeals to selfish instincts. He then said, "For those who seek to lead, we do well to ask ourselves, 'Why am I doing this? Why? What is my real aim?'"

Miley didn't inspire justice

A recent social media claim falsely claims singer Miley Cyrus, during a 1993 concert, told a 9-year-old girl that anything was possible as long as she believed in God. That 9-year-old was Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was recently named to the Supreme Court.

This is false, according to The Associated Press. Cyrus, who is younger than Barrett, was only a year old in 1993 and was not yet performing concerts.

The claim, shared on the Christian Conservatives for Trump Facebook page, has a quote supposedly from Barrett as a young girl, that says, "she beleifed in God and was going to be famous by making murdering babbys illegal and that she would stop Obamacares."

Cyrus was born in 1992, when Barrett, who was born in 1972, was 20. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, wasn't enacted until 2010.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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