Fulton County acknowledges, in major consent decree, that 3,600 individual 2020 ballots were duplicated

Former President Donald Trump has reignited controversy over the 2020 election by claiming 3,600 ballots were duplicated in one Georgia county.

“Fulton County, Georgia, acknowledges, in a major consent decree, that 3,600 individual ballots were duplicated. Thirty-six batches of them were duplicated. That’s a lot of crime,” he said in a Truth Social video uploaded Tuesday.

“Thirty-six hundred votes. That’s really a lot of crime. When are the rest of these facts coming out? We’re all waiting. This is the beginning of an unbelievable period of time. This is massive voter corruption,” the former president continued.

Listen:

 

Responding to the former president’s claim, his supporters argued that this is merely further proof that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him.

Look:

But were Trump’s claims valid? Some of them appeared to be.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in July that “[v]ote counters made numerous mistakes during an audit of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election in Fulton County, including double-counted and misallocated votes, according to a consent order recently approved by the State Election Board and the county.”

“State election investigators blamed ‘human error’ for mistakes in a system that relied on sorting paper ballots by candidate, counting them by hand, writing totals on sheets of paper and then transcribing numbers into computers,” according to the AJC.

Double-counting likely occurred when election workers couldn’t tell whether auditing software had recorded their initial tally, leading them to enter numbers a second time. In several cases, they mistyped vote totals or allocated votes to the wrong candidate,” the paper reported.

Evidently, auditing software by a company called VotingWorks “was slow to update data, and elections staff reentered numbers when they couldn’t determine whether the system had accepted the results, sometimes causing duplicate entries.”

A fact-check from FactCheck.org disputes Trump’s interpretation of this report, noting, for instance, that the errors were made during an audit, not during the actual election.

“Trump is referring to a consent order (not a consent decree, which is a settlement approved by a judge) from June in which state elections investigators concluded that Fulton County elections staff ‘misidentified and duplicated’ tally sheets in an audit of 2020 election results,” the fact-check continues.

“Not mentioned by Trump is that state investigators concluded the errors were ‘not due to intentional misconduct by Fulton County elections staff’ and represented just a fraction of the overall votes cast and therefore ‘did not affect the result’ of the election in Fulton County,” it reads.

The fact-check further notes that during a Georgia Board of Registration and Elections meeting on March 16, 2022, then-deputy chief of investigations for the secretary of state’s office James Callaway said they’d identified “numerous examples of human error while inputting data” into a software suite.

“But there was no evidence discovered to suggest criminal behavior. I believe the errors were due to batch sheets being entered twice under different headings,” he said.

According to the fact-check, the AJC ultimately concluded that there were 3,000 too many absentee ballots counted for current President Joe Biden. However, the AJC did warn that “[d]espite inaccuracies in the ballot batches that were investigated, the overall count in the audit was close to the official machine results.”

“Sara Tindall Ghazal, a Democratic appointee to the State Election Board, noted at that meeting that the purpose of the audit — which ultimately resulted in a hand-recount of all the votes because the margin of victory for Biden was so close — was simply to confirm whether the correct person won the election,” FactCheck.org notes.

“It’s not supposed to be a one-to-one recount. A recount was also conducted and that’s a different thing altogether. The recount looked at the number of votes and, in fact, the count was valid. The audit is to identify whether or not the right candidate won,” Ghazal reportedly said.

Lastly, FactCheck.org took issue with Trump’s claim of “crime” having occurred.

“Trump wrongly claimed the order was evidence of ‘A LOT OF CRIME.’ The order says the settlement reached ‘is a civil settlement and has no criminal ramifications’ and that there is no admission of guilt by the Fulton County election board,” the fact-check notes.

Vivek Saxena

Comment

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles