Trump’s legal “Strike Force” continues to make noise in key swing states, hoping to reverse the results of the 2020 Presidential Election in court, but their latest claim of voter fraud in Georgia looks to have already been debunked — by members of their own party.
Jenna Ellis, a member of Trump’s legal team, appeared on Fox Business on Friday morning to rehash conspiracy theories about fake ballots being counted for President-elect Joe Biden, votes that helped him swing the state blue. Ellis told host Maria Bartiromo that Trump’s team, led by Rudy Giuliani, had uncovered “shocking” video footage of election workers wheeling out “suitcases” full of ballots after hours at the State Farm Arena in Fulton County where ballot-counting took place on November 3rd.
In the video, Ellis claims you can see multiple workers who stayed despite being told to go home, transporting containers of ballots to be scanned and counted, ballots that were shoved under what looks like a counting table.
“Absolutely shocking, Maria,” Ellis says in the clip. “What happened is that at about 10:30 at night in that voting center location, the election officials told everyone to just go home, stop counting. And then four people remained behind. And you can see from the video that they reached under a table, and took out four big boxes of ballots, and kept scanning them through, through the night.”
The only problem with this crackpot theory is that it’s already been called on its bullsh*t — and by Fox News reporters and Republican officials, no less.
Georgia’s election implementation manager, Republican Gabriel Sterling, took to Twitter to put out the fire, assuring the public that his office, as well as Georgia Secretary of State investigators, spent hours combing through the security footage in question and found nothing alarming about the counting process.
The 90 second video of election workers at State Farm arena, purporting to show fraud was watched in its entirety (hours) by @GaSecofState investigators. Shows normal ballot processing. Here is the fact check on it. https://t.co/HVJsvDjDvi
— Gabriel Sterling (@GabrielSterling) December 4, 2020
Frances Watson, the chief investigator for the Georgia secretary of state office, also confirmed to fact-checking site Lead Stories that those “suitcases” were actually just average containers you’d expect to hold ballots, and they were empty while sitting under the table.
“There wasn’t a bin that had ballots in it under that table,” Watson said. “It was an empty bin and the ballots from it were actually out on the table when the media were still there, and then it was placed back into the box when the media were still there and placed next to the table.”
As for certain workers leaving while others remained throughout the night, there’s a perfectly normal reason for that too — for anyone familiar with the vote-counting process. The workers who were told to leave were “cutters,” whose job is to open absentee ballot envelopes and verify ballots before they’re scanned. They don’t actually count the votes though, which is what Ellis suggested. The workers who stayed are in charge of scanning and counting and once ballots are open, they must be counted — which is why those people couldn’t leave and continued working through the night. According to Watson, the media and the public were never told to leave, telling Lead Stories that the location “was still open for them or the public to come back in to view at whatever time they wanted to, as long as [election workers] were still working.”
And one of Fox News’ own, reporter Griff Jenkins, verified that claim.
“I just got off the phone with a senior source in the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office, a Republican, who tells me that they had a designated observer at that spot all night, the entire time, and they’ve seen this video, they’re familiar with the claims, and they said that they’re simply not true,” Jenkins said in a report on Friday morning. “The suggestion that Georgia vote-counters were sent home and ballots were brought in in suitcases, also not true.”
Plus, and this is just pure speculation on our part, wouldn’t people who were trying to commit voter fraud to influence an election try to keep as much of their illegal activity as possible off-camera? If you’re going to do some conspiracy theorizing, at least make it worth our time.