Georgia election employee hides on Twitter after false fraud allegations

ATLANTA (AP) – With all eyes on Georgia’s razor-thin voting leeway for the presidency, falsehoods about alleged voting irregularities are whirling up on social media.

One of the most common examples is a video that generated millions of views on Twitter. It is alleged that an election worker wrinkled a postal ballot paper.

As it turns out, it doesn’t show such a thing. Fulton County’s polling officer Richard Barron said late Friday that the election worker shown in the video discarded paper instructions, not a ballot much larger than the paper shown in the video.

Barron also said the worker went into hiding after being harassed online for making false claims.

Here’s a look at the facts:

CLAIM: A video showing the number of ballots in Fulton County, Georgia, shows fraud caused by an election worker handling absentee ballots wrinkling you.

THE FACTS: Election officials say the poll worker in the video did not wrinkle or discard a ballot.

“It has been questioned whether the election worker shown in the video discarded one of these ballot papers. The answer is no, definitely no, “Barron told reporters at a news conference Friday night at the Fulton County election camp in Atlanta. “At no point was the election worker able to extract a ballot.”

The widespread video shows poll workers from Fulton County processing postal ballot papers in the Atlanta State Farm Arena on November 3rd. The election officer seems to be animated to gesticulate and then to crumple a small piece of paper.

It appears that someone took a video from a video someone else recorded in the arena and added a narration from a male voice. It’s not clear who captured the original footage the tweeted video is based on.

“He’s having a fit over something. And then he turns off a ballot and then crumples it, ”says the narrator. “If that’s not election fraud, I don’t know what it is.”

David Shafer, leader of the Republican Party of Georgia, retweeted the video and wrote, “Georgia Republican Party attorneys have requested that the Fulton County electoral authority investigate and explain what is going on in this video.”

Barron said his review of the incident revealed that there was no way the election worker in the video could have discarded a ballot.

The election worker had the task of opening the outer envelopes with a cutting machine and separating them from the inner envelopes. “At no point was the worker able to extract the ballot,” a statement from Fulton County said. “Votes are only cast for employees who are entrusted with sorting tasks.”

The statement states that the piece of paper shown in the video is too small to be a ballot paper that would have been 8.5 by 19 inches.

Instead, Barron said it appeared the worker was dismissing the list of instructions given to voters on their mailed ballot papers, which are 8 by 5 inches. “Because of the different sizes, it is clear that no ballot has been damaged or discarded,” the statement said.

When asked why the worker appeared excited in the video, the statement said he said his fingers were slightly injured due to a machine malfunction.

Barron told reporters that the worker was staying with friends because he no longer felt safe at home after social media harassed him and disclosed his personal information.

“He was one of the workers we had who trained everyone on these cutting machines because he was very good at them and the fastest,” Barron told reporters.

“I expressed my sadness that all of this happened to him because he wanted to be an election worker and did a good job doing it.”