A Big Tech-backed “fact” “checking” outfit claimed to debunk explosive evidence in support of Republicans’ claims of significant election problems at a Thursday Georgia Senate hearing. It didn’t. Not even close.
Newly discovered security footage from Georgia’s State Farm Arena showed dozens of ballot counters, media, and Republican observers leaving en masse at the same time from the ballot-counting area for Fulton County. After they left, a small remnant of about four workers began pulling trunks containing thousands of ballots from underneath a table with a long tablecloth and running them through machines.
The footage supported claims from Republicans that they were told counting had stopped for the night, only to find out hours later that it had kept going on. You can and should watch the 12-minute portion of the testimony from Jacki Pick here.
On Friday morning, a group called Lead Stories published a “hoax alert” falsely claiming to have debunked the security video. The Washington Post, Newsweek, and other outlets followed along, criticizing non-leftist journalists for giving the video traction. In fact, none of the claims made by the Republicans were debunked.
Lead Stories’ “fact” “check” says government officials told them everything was fine with the counting, that the ballots were in “containers — not suitcases,” and that “party observers were never told to leave because counting was over for the night.”
Leaving aside whether relying solely and uncritically on government officials’ claims constitutes anything close to a “fact” “check,” let’s look at the claim that party observers were never told that counting was over for the night. In Lead Stories’ regurgitation of the government officials’ claims, only the people who cut open the absentee ballot envelopes were sent home, while ballot counters and scanners were retained and kept working — and no one told the press or other observers they were done counting.
Were Republican Poll Watchers and the Media Told Counting Had Stopped For The Night?
Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer has consistently said that’s what happened at State Farm Arena, beginning hours after the election:
No one disputes that Fulton County elections officials falsely announced that the counting of ballots would stop at 10:30 p.m. No one disputes that Fulton County elected officials unlawfully resumed the counting of ballots after our observers left the center.— David Shafer (@DavidShafer) November 10, 2020