These photos do not prove that the pencils used for the 2024 elections are erasable

Several social posts are circulating claiming that the pencils used in polls for the European elections are erasable. To demonstrate this, attached is a photo of a card with a mark and a subsequent one where it would be erased with an eraser. The sign, in reality, is not completely erased. There is a problem: the photos are dated.

For those in a hurry

  • The photos show that the sign is not completely erased, which invalidates the accusation.
  • The clichés are not relevant, as the “Constitutional Referendum” ballot papers say.
  • These are two images published in December 2016 by singer Piero Pelù.


Photos are shared on Facebook to prove the cancellation of the morning:

After trying it on a piece of paper and confirming it, they reported the matter to the presiding officer of the polling station.
But how can we take Italian elections and politicians seriously? Then they pretend that someone is seriously going to vote in a country where, for ten more votes, certain politicians would sell their mothers, including the survivor's pension… They don't see me, certainly on the beach.

The Piero Pelù hoax in 2016

The photos presented by the user are not his and are not even taken during these 2024 elections. In the image, the ballot papers show another vote, that of the constitutional referendum of 2016. They were taken by singer Piero Pelù and published in a Facebook post. from December 2016:

After trying it on a piece of paper and confirming it, I reported the matter to the president of my polling station. Do it too, it’s your right! !

The test error

Piero Pelù's test began unsuccessfully from the start. In fact, the pencil mark still remains on the map.

Let's start with a fact: the pencils used for elections are those defined as “to copy”, capable of leaving an indelible mark on the ballot paper thanks to its composition of graphite and pigments. If the eraser manages to erase the graphite, the pencil pigments still remain in the card and the mark remains visible against the light. In addition, the card has an abrasive surface on which the mark made by the pencil remains anyway.


The posts where the accusation is shared contain dated text and photos, actually taken from a 2016 post by Italian singer Piero Pelù. They are in fact not current and do not concern the current elections.

This article contributes to a Facebook Project to combat fake news and misinformation on its social platforms. Laws here for more information about our partnership with Facebook.

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