Does CCTV show 2020 ballot stuffing in Georgia?

A Connecticut judge’s decision to rerun a local primary, citing videos showing possible ballot fraud, has reignited claims about the 2020 presidential election.

Connecticut Supreme Court Justice William Clark rejected the results of a Democratic mayoral primary in Bridgeport, the state’s largest city, saying he had seen evidence ordering a rerun even though the general election is in four days, the Associated reported Press.

Following the decision, conservative commentators responded with what they said was evidence of “ballot stuffing” in the 2020 White House race.

Former President Donald Trump is facing 13 charges in Georgia for allegedly trying to overturn his election loss in the state to Joe Biden. He and his co-defendants are facing extortion charges. Trump, who has claimed that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ case was politically motivated, maintains his innocence.

A poll worker processes mail-in ballots at the State Farm Arena on November 2, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. A recent decision in Connecticut to overturn the results of a mayoral primary over concerns about ballot stuffing has led to a resurgence of falsehoods surrounding the 2020 presidential election.
Megan Varner/Getty Images

The claim

In a post by conservative commentator End Wokeness posted on November 2, 2023 and viewed 8.1 million times on “walking through machines unattended for hours.”

“A judge in Connecticut just overturned an election over a video showing two people stuffing ballot boxes,” the post said.

“Trump was arrested in Georgia for trying to make this happen in 2020.”

“This is a video from Georgia in 2020 after poll watchers were forced out due to a mysterious ‘water pipe break’.”

“They literally pulled suitcases of ballots out from under the table and let them run through the machines unattended for hours.”

The facts

The Bridgeport election story has sparked conservative theories on social media, with X owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk joining in the discussion.

On Thursday, Musk republished a story about Bridgeport, adding: “There is no question that this happened here. The only question is how common it is.”

However, End Wokeness’ post about ballot stuffing in Georgia is based on falsehoods Trump has previously shared, linking events that occurred hours apart.

On November 5, 2020, Trump claimed that a count at State Farm Arena in Georgia was stopped for “four hours” after a “pipe burst” and claimed: “a “A lot has happened during this time.

During a leaked phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Trump added that there was a “major water main break” and that no poll watchers returned afterward.

Republican Gabriel Sterling, Voting Systems Manager in the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, has repeatedly addressed the claims of a leak, stating at a press conference on January 4, 2021 that it occurred at approximately 5:23 a.m. on November 3, 2020 at State Farm Arena was discovered.

It briefly delayed the processing of mail-in ballots in Fulton County, but was resolved within two hours. While a pipe burst was initially described, it later turned out that it was a urine leak.

Frances Watson, chief investigator for Georgia’s secretary of state, said in an affidavit that the vote count would not be affected.

The affidavit states: “The Secretary of State’s Office initiated an investigation into the incident at State Farm Arena. Our investigation revealed that the incident, originally reported as a water leak late in the evening of November 3rd, was actually a urinal that overflowed earlier in the morning of November 3rd and had no impact on Fulton County’s vote count later that evening.

The footage posted by End Wokeness was taken almost 14 hours after the leak, many hours after it was fixed.

The suitcases were found to be wheeled ballot boxes in multiple fact-checking debunking reports, including from, AP and PolitiFact. Gabriel Sterling also stated this during his press conference on January 4, 2021.

End Wokeness’ claim that workers were displaced is also false. At the news conference, Sterling said the video shows two groups of people at State Farm Arena: cutters opening stacks and preparing ballots for scanning, and scanners.

In the video, the tailors began putting away their equipment while Sterling said everyone was under the impression that everyone was going home. However, the scanners were later asked to stay and continue working.

Watson confirmed this report in her affidavit, saying that “observers and media were not asked to leave. They simply left on their own when they saw that a group of workers whose job was only to open envelopes and had completed that task were also leaving.”

That was also stated in the affidavit “Review of all security footage revealed that there were no secret ballots brought from an unknown location and hidden under tables.”

“A video taken hours earlier shows the table being brought into the room at 8:22 a.m.,” Watson said. “There was nothing under the table [sic].

“At around 10 p.m., when the room was full of people, including official observers and media representatives, a video shows ballots that had already been opened but not counted being placed in the boxes, sealed and stored under the table.

“This happened because the staff thought they were done for the night and would want to close and leave.”

“As counting continued later that night, these boxes were opened so that the ballots inside could then be counted.”

While some scans did not have observers present, this is not a requirement for poll observers under Georgia Code § 21-2-408. According to the United States Election Assistance Commission, each state has its own laws regarding when and where observers can be present.

As Fulton County elections director Richard Barron explained in an interview with AP, an election board observer arrived at 11:52 p.m. to oversee the audit, and a state investigator arrived at 12:15 a.m. Both remained there until the count was completed. Sterling also mentioned the arrival of the monitor and investigator in his press conference.

In short, a water leak at State Farm Arena on Election Day was not related to the events in a video of poll workers, a video that does not show workers being asked to leave or workers secretly counting or “stuffing” ballots. .

The regulation



While there was a water leak in Georgia in 2020 at a facility counting mail-in ballots, it occurred nearly 14 hours before video footage of election staff working at that facility was recorded.

Footage of employees leaving the building does not show them being asked to leave, nor can employees be seen accepting “suitcases” of ballots and scanning them unattended. It shows a group of employees packing up and leaving for the evening before another group tasked with scanning ballots returned to continue scanning ballots at election officials’ request.

The “suitcases” were ballot boxes on wheels. These were not secret votes either; They were opened but stopped being counted from the same day.

Georgia state law does not require scanner compliance. However, the scanners that were later recalled were joined by an observer and a government investigator after they returned to work.

FACT CHECK BY Newsweek’s fact checking team

Unusual knowledge

Newsweek strives to challenge conventional wisdom and find connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek strives to challenge conventional wisdom and find connections in the search for common ground.