ATLANTA – Polling night surveillance videos in Atlanta lead to a false social media narrative of « suitcases full of ballots » hidden under a cloth-covered table and counted without supervision, even if high-ranking State officials confirm that the election workers followed standard procedure.
The video showed regular ballot boxes on wheels – no suitcases – and both a state investigator and an independent observer watched the counting until it was conducted for the night and found no evidence of inappropriate ballot papers, state and district officials said Friday with.
That didn’t stop President Donald Trump, his campaign, his lawyers and his supporters from sharing the false fraud allegation video in a deluge of Facebook and Twitter posts that drew millions of visitors in less than 24 hours.
CLAIM: Poll workers and partisan monitors were told to leave the State Farm Arena in Atlanta on election night, but four poll workers stayed behind, pulled suitcases full of ballots from under a table and scanned them after hours of unattended.
THE FACTS: The video shows no evidence of fraud, let alone the evidence of « SMOKING GUN » claimed by Trump’s legal team on social media.
Nobody told the observers to leave, and both an independent observer and an investigator monitored the number of votes, state and district officials said. Confusion arose when election officials thought they were ready for the night but were then instructed to keep scanning the ballots. However, investigators, who went through the entire surveillance tape, confirmed that it was showing « normal voting, » according to Gabriel Sterling, a top official in the State Secretariat.
The video, which shows clips of surveillance footage from a ballot counting room, became known online Thursday after Trump volunteer attorney Jackie Pick introduced it to state senators during a hearing at the state capitol.
Pick claimed it showed a worker telling partisan observers to leave the facility for the night around 10:30 p.m.. m. After the observers were « cleared out, » four poll workers stayed behind, pulled ballot papers and ballot papers from under a table and counted them for two hours with no witnesses present.
Richard Barron, polling officer for Fulton County, denied these claims Friday, saying in a public session that no observer was ever told to leave the facility.
According to Barron, employees who had ballots opened for scanning and flattened left the facility when their duties were completed.
Other election workers were packing up, Sterling said in an interview with The Associated Press. They put prepared ballots back in boxes and under a table “to close for the night. Media representatives and Republican observers also left the building.
Then the on-site supervisor received a call from Barron instructing the team to continue scanning the already prepared ballots. They pulled out the same boxes of ballot papers and resumed scanning, Sterling said.
« These aren’t magic ballots, » Sterling told the AP. « You didn’t show up from another room. ”
Georgian law § 21-2-408 allows observers to remain in the room at all times, but does not require the census to take place.
After a short time with no observers present, met at 23. At 52 o’clock an independent observer from the state election committee came in to oversee the scanning. m. Said Barron. A state investigator arrived at 12:15 p.m.. m. Both people stayed in the facility until the night count was completed, he said.
The Georgian Secretary of State said he was aware of the nightly count and confirmed that both his investigator and an independent monitor were watching the scanning « until it was paused for the night. ”
The office said it was investigating why partisan polling observers left before the end of the scan.
The president’s team « is deliberately misleading the public about what happened at State Farm Arena on Election Night, » Sterling tweeted Friday. “They also had the whole video and ignored the truth. ”
Georgia, ballot, Donald Trump, election officer
World News – CA – The surveillance tape leads to false fraud claims in Georgia
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