Associated Press feeds mock election data to news organizations nationwide

UPDATE: Hoax-busting website Snopes has debunked Internet rumors about pre-election graphics testing by WRCB being evidence of vote-rigging.

The Associated Press distributed mock election data to news organizations nationwide last week as part of routine testing. That AP test data showed a hypothetical scenario with Hillary Clinton winning the election and screen grabs of that test were widely circulated on social media. This occurred because test election data appeared for a brief time on public servers for multiple news organizations that subscribe to the Associated Press election results service, including WRCB. 

"AP goes to great lengths to clearly mark test data and advises its customers to do the same," said AP Media Relations Manager Lauren Easton. 

Easton declined to comment when asked why the AP would use test results which could be confusing if released outside of internal testing sites.

The test data appeared not only for president, but for several state and national races as well.

Now that testing is complete, WRCB has removed the test data stream to return results to zero in preparation for election night. It is possible the test data stream may need to be turned on again for brief periods of time as designers continue testing the graphics. 

This has been the practice of news organizations for decades. 

This test data is for informational purposes and do not count toward any official vote totals. Only a state's Secretary of State can certify vote totals.