Surveillance Tape Of Vote Counting Breeding False Fraud Claims In Georgia

Written by on December 4, 2020

Surveillance footage of poll processing on election evening in Atlanta is fueling a false social media narrative of “suitcases crammed with ballots” hidden underneath a cloth-covered desk and tallied with out supervision, at the same time as prime state officers affirm election employees adopted normal process.

The video confirmed common poll containers on wheels — not suitcases — and each a state investigator and an unbiased monitor noticed counting till it was performed for the evening, discovering no proof of improper ballots, state and county officers mentioned on Friday.

That hasn’t stopped President Donald Trump, his marketing campaign, his legal professionals and his supporters from sharing the video with false fraud accusations in a spate of Fb and Twitter posts which have racked up thousands and thousands of views in lower than 24 hours.

Right here’s a take a look at the information round this viral video:

CLAIM: Ballot employees and partisan observers have been informed to depart Atlanta’s State Farm Enviornment on election evening, however 4 election employees stayed behind, pulled suitcases filled with ballots out from underneath a desk, and scanned them after hours with none supervision.

THE FACTS: The video doesn’t present proof of fraud, a lot much less the “SMOKING GUN” proof that Trump’s authorized staff claims on social media.

Nobody informed observers they needed to depart, and each an unbiased monitor and an investigator oversaw the vote depend, in response to state and county officers. Confusion arose when election employees thought they have been performed for the evening, however then have been instructed to proceed scanning ballots. However investigators who reviewed your complete surveillance tape confirmed it confirmed “regular poll processing,” in response to Gabriel Sterling, a prime official within the secretary of state’s workplace.

The video, which reveals clips of surveillance footage from a room the place ballots have been counted, started gaining traction on-line on Thursday after volunteer Trump legal professional Jackie Choose offered it for state senators throughout a listening to on the state Capitol.

Choose claimed it confirmed a workers member telling partisan observers to depart the power for the evening about 10:30 p.m. After observers have been “cleared out,” she mentioned, 4 election employees stayed behind, pulled suitcases of ballots out from beneath a desk, and counted them for 2 hours with no witnesses current.

Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron refuted these claims on Friday, saying in a public assembly that no observers have been ever informed to depart the power.

Based on Barron, workers members who had been opening and flattening ballots for scanning began leaving the power as their duties concluded.

Different election employees began to pack up, Sterling informed The Related Press in an interview. They put ready ballots again in bins and away underneath a desk “to shut out for the evening.” Members of the media and Republican observers started to depart the constructing too.

Then, the supervisor onsite bought a name from Barron, who instructed the staff to proceed scanning the ballots that had already been ready. They pulled the identical bins of ballots again out, and resumed scanning, Sterling mentioned.

“These aren’t magical ballots,” Sterling informed the AP. “They didn’t present up out of another room.”

Georgia regulation § 21-2-408 permits observers to remain within the room the entire time, however doesn’t require it for counting to happen.

After a brief interval when observers weren’t current, an unbiased state election board monitor arrived to supervise the scanning at 11:52 p.m., Barron mentioned. A state investigator arrived at 12:15 a.m. Each people remained on the facility till the depend concluded for the evening, he mentioned.

The Georgia secretary of state’s workplace mentioned it was conscious of the late-night counting, and confirmed that each its investigator and an unbiased monitor noticed scanning “till it was halted for the evening.”

The workplace mentioned it had launched an investigation into why partisan ballot observers left earlier than scanning ended.

The president’s staff is “deliberately deceptive the general public about what occurred at State Farm Enviornment on election evening,” Sterling tweeted Friday. “They’d the entire video too and ignored the reality.”

Related Press author Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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