An election worker is currently in hiding after being falsely accused of manipulating ballot papers in Georgia.
Peach State’s Fulton County was one of the last areas to have ballots reported as of Friday, and officials were talking about their progress during a press conference when the announcement came about the worker.
Election officer Rick Barron said a State Farm Arena worker was threatened because of a false report posted on social media that he saw him throw away a ballot. According to the local ABC subsidiary WSB-TV.
“He’s hiding,” said Barron.
The controversy began after the worker’s video appeared on Twitter. The narrative on the footage accused the worker of collapsing and throwing away a voter’s ballot. The video quickly went viral.
“He’s having a fit of something,” says the narrator. “And then he turns off a ballot and then wrinkles it. If that’s not election fraud, I don’t know what it is. “
The source of the original video is currently unclear.
President of the Republican Party of Georgia David Shafer shared the video and tweeted, “Georgia Republican Party attorneys have requested that the Fulton County electoral authority investigate and explain what is happening in this video.”
The original tweet was eventually moderated by Twitter because it contained “controversial” and possibly “misleading” content about an election.
In response, the GOP leader doubled in size:
Twitter incorrectly suppresses this tweet. It is not “controversial” or “misleading”. Our lawyers made that request today! pic.twitter.com/rTQJuMvuYt
– David Shafer (@DavidShafer) November 6, 2020
After the online flare-up, Barron and other election officials examined the video of the worker using an envelope cutter – a machine used to separate inner voting envelopes from outer voting envelopes.
“It has been questioned whether the election worker shown in the video rejected any of those ballots,” Barron told reporters on Friday evening. At no point was the election worker able to extract a ballot. “
The investigation ultimately confirmed the election department employee.
“One thing you need to know, however, is that these ballots are 8½” by 19 “long,” Barron said. “At no point did you see him pull anything out of the envelope and the crumbled piece of paper. It was instructions and it was a smaller piece of paper.”
Fulton County officials are currently assessing whether or not the worker should receive public protection.
“He has to leave his house and stay with friends,” added Barron. “He’s afraid to drive his car because the information about his car, about his license plate, is out there.”
With the already tense election atmosphere dragging on due to the late counting of ballots, officials are concerned that officials who are just trying to do their best will lose frayed feelings.
“He was one of the workers we had who trained everyone on these cutting machines because he was very good at them and he was the fastest,” said Barron. “I expressed my sadness that all of this happened to him because he wanted to be an election worker and did a good job.”
[image via Jessica McGowan/Getty Images]
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