As early voters in Florida started casting votes, conservative websites buzzed about new evidence of crooked campaign tactics by Hillary Clinton to secure the crucial battleground state.
The alleged scheme centered on left-leaning Broward County, already in the news for distributing some mail-in ballots without Amendment 2, a proposal to legalize medical marijuana.
The claims originated from Roger Stone, a Donald Trump supporter and former campaign operative who talked of a "secret" meeting in an interview to conspiracy theorist and radio show host Alex Jones on Oct. 26.
"Yesterday Hillary Clinton shows up in Broward County — slips into a private meeting with the woman who runs the board of elections," said Stone, who lives in Fort Lauderdale.
It’s common for election supervisors to meet with party officials if they have questions about election procedures. But a meeting directly with a presidential candidate would be unusual. Broward has about 600,000 Democratic voters — the highest number in Florida — so it is a key county for Clinton.
We found no evidence that such a meeting took place — because it didn’t.
Within days, Stone retracted his claim. (A retraction doesn’t allow a political figure to avoid the Truth-O-Meter, but we will explain what he initially said and then his latest explanation.)
Miami Herald photo by Carl Juste