Fact-checking Trump campaign ad implying fraud in Georgia
A week before Congress is set to certify former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, President Donald Trump and his allies are continuing to cry fraud.
In a Trump campaign ad which ran on Fox News, a voiceover claims poll workers in Georgia pulled out trunks of ballots from overwhelmingly Democrat precincts after election observers went home. The ad shows footage of poll workers from election night in Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold which includes Atlanta.
The ad further claims that neighboring “DeKalb County cannot find chain of custody documents,” citing an article from the Georgia Star News, a digital newspaper, published on December 5.
Following both these claims, the ad asks supporters to text FRAUD to a Team Trump phone number and demand their legislators “hear the evidence.”
Facts First: These claims are misleading, at best.
While ballot bins were pulled from under a table at a ballot counting location in Fulton County at a time when observers were no longer present, after reviewing the footage, state and county officials determined the events in the video were part of the normal process, not fraud. This theory was also included as an example of fraud in a brief filed by the Texas Attorney General that the US Supreme Court declined to consider.
When asked about the ad’s claims, DeKalb County provided CNN with the chain of custody documents in question. A communications consultant hired by DeKalb County told CNN the ad’s claim “lacks merit” as they “produced the same in response to open records requests,” including from the Georgia Star. The Georgia Star article cited in the ad suggested the county could not find the documents because in response to their Open Records Request they were told that “it has not yet been determined if responsive records to your request exist.”
However, at the time, county officials pre-emptively explained that any such delay in finding and providing responsive records was because remote working conditions and the Department of Voting, Registration and Election’s workload had impacted their response time.