FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Shredded Ballots In Georgia?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows shredded ballots that were found in Georgia during the two Senate runoff elections.
The photo shows paper waste produced during the process of opening absentee ballots, not shredded ballots, according to a Fulton County spokesperson. A top official with the Georgia secretary of state’s office has previously refuted claims that ballots in Georgia were being shredded.
The screen grab of a tweet containing an image of boxes full of shredded paper started circulating amid the two Senate runoff elections in Georgia. The Associated Press called the races for Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff early Wednesday morning.
“Our team is in Georgia,” reads the screen grabbed tweet from Twitter user @AmyCoello. “They took a little walk. They found shredded ballots in Dell boxes. Police came as well. They wanted to confiscate phones with evidence. Here is just the first few photos.”
In her tweet, Coello does not identify where in Georgia the allegedly shredded ballots were found. She did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment regarding her claim.
Another version of the claim suggests the shredded ballots were found in Fulton County, where Atlanta is located. BBC News, which debunked the allegation that the photo shows shredded ballots, identified the Georgia World Congress Center in Fulton County as the location where the picture was taken.
Fulton County spokesperson Jessica Corbitt-Dominguez told the DCNF in an email that “we have shredded nothing.” (RELATED: Did Georgia’s Fulton County Identify 132,00 ‘Likely Ineligible’ Ballots?)
“Absentee ballots come in two envelopes,” explained Corbitt-Dominguez. “Those envelopes must be opened for the ballots to be counted. We have tens of thousands of ballots to open and use envelope opening equipment to do so. As a result of the process of opening thousands of envelopes, paper waste is left behind. That is what was ‘discovered.’ This was explained to the individuals onsite.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, Gabriel Sterling, the voting system implementation manager for the Georgia secretary of state’s office, said that there was “no evidence of any irregularities” in the runoff elections, offering a “tweet that took a picture of shredded paper and said we’re in ‘Georgia’ and here are shredded ballots” as an example of misinformation. He previously said there is “no shredding of ballots going on” in regards to an allegation President Donald Trump made about the presidential election, according to The New York Times.
Under Georgia state law, anyone who “willfully destroys or defaces any ballot or willfully delays the delivery of any ballots shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
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