FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Ballots Being Destroyed In Georgia’s Cobb County?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows ballots being destroyed on Nov. 20 in Georgia’s Cobb County.

Verdict: False

The video shows a shredding company helping dispose of “non-relevant” election-related materials. No ballots or other materials “relevant to the election or the re-tally” were disposed of, according to a statement from the Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration.

Fact Check:

Multiple Facebook users posted the video along with claims that it shows officials in Cobb County destroying ballots. In the video, a person moves garbage cans to and from a truck that seems to be from A-1 Shredding and Recycling. The video appears to have been taken at the Jim R. Miller Park Event Center in Marietta, a city northwest of Atlanta and the Cobb County seat.

“From Attorney Lin Wood’s Twitter account, turn up the volume and listen,” reads the caption of one Facebook post. “Ballots being destroyed THIS MORNING in Cobb County, GA.” (RELATED: Video Falsely Claims To Show ‘Ballot Stuffing’ In Michigan)

Attorney L. Lin Wood Jr. tweeted the video on Nov. 20, the same day that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and top election officials certified the state’s results for the 2020 election. President-elect Joe Biden won the state by over 12,600 votes, according to the official results on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.

The video, however, does not show Cobb County ballots being destroyed. The Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration explained in a Nov. 24 statement that the “shredding company routinely responds to the Elections Department following an election to help dispose of non-relevant materials that cannot be easily disposed of.” In the statement, the Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration provided a list of items the shredding company helped dispose of that does not include ballots.

The “non-relevant materials” disposed of includes incorrect mailing labels with voter information, copies of outdated procedures, addressed envelopes, printed emails, duplicates of faxed applications and sticky notes, among other things, according to the statement.

“None of these items are relevant to the election or the re-tally,” Elections Director Janine Eveler said in the statement. “Everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballot applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file. After an out-of-context video was shared on social media we contacted state officials to reassure them this was a routine clean-up operation and they could come to inspect our stored materials if they wished.”

President Donald Trump’s campaign formally requested an additional machine recount of the presidential race in Georgia on Nov. 21. Georgia election officials said the recount, which counties must complete by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 2, is unlikely to change the overall outcome of the election, The Associated Press reported.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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