A video has gone viral that shows an Illinois TV news station, WCIA-3, airing primary election results a day before the election happened, including graphics showing incumbent President Donald Trump winning the Republican primary and former Vice President Joe Biden beating Senator Bernie Sanders by nearly 100,000 votes in the Democratic primary. According to Sherry Daugherty, the Facebook user who recorded the video, the station claims this was an accident and just a routine part of testing graphics.
The Station Mistakenly Shared Test Graphics Live, According to Video Author
Sherry Daugherty shared the video on Facebook after watching The Price is Right and seeing the following day’s election results show up on the TV screen during the live broadcast on Monday, March 16. The Illinois primary isn’t scheduled to happen until Tuesday, March 17. Later that day, the station reached out to inform her that it was a test run that accidentally went live.
Watch the video below, which aired on WCIA-3. It shows total vote counts of 986,341 for Biden at 50% and 893,249 for Sanders at 45%. It also shows President Donald Trump getting 74% (1,071,399 votes) to Roque De La Fuente’s 26% (369,353 votes).
Daugherty later updated the video post on Facebook to share that WCIA-3 had contacted her and explained that what she captured in the video was simply a graphics test that was never supposed to go live.
In her update, Daugherty quoted part of the message she received from Mark Maxwell of WCIA-3:
“We do routine test rehearsals before every election to make sure the graphics work properly and to give directors some practice. The error was in putting the dry run on air. That shouldn’t have happened and we’re looking into it. Obviously, we never intended to give the wrong information or wrong impression. None of those numbers were based on any real polling returns. Since your post is being widely shared, I’d appreciate it if you would consider updating the original post so people don’t get the wrong idea.”
Daugherty was also contacted by Rich Flesch, WCIA-3‘s news director, who wrote her with the following:
“WCIA-3 News — Sorry it was an error by our team. We are currently doing election rehearsals with test data and not intended to go on TV. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
As of this publication, WCIA-3 has not posted anything publicly yet on social media about the mistake.
So far, the Illinois governor has confirmed that primary elections will still be carried out as originally scheduled for tomorrow, March 17. Meanwhile, gatherings of 50 or more people in the state have been banned simultaneously during this time.
Daugherty later posted a globally public personal note on Facebook about advocating for veterans.
Daugherty revealed that she is a Trump supporter who was concerned when she saw the accidental graphic while watching the live broadcast. She said her husband is a veteran and voting for politicians who support veterans and their needs is very important to her. You can read her full post on Facebook here.