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Screenshot of a video of an elections worker in Atlanta. Screenshot of a video of an elections worker in Atlanta.

Screenshot of a video of an elections worker in Atlanta.

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher November 7, 2020

Georgia election worker falsely accused of discarding ballot is in hiding, official says

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  • The worker threw away a piece of paper containing voter instructions.

A video that was widely shared on social media claimed to show an election worker in a ballot processing facility throwing away a ballot.

The worker threw away only a piece of paper containing voter instructions — but has had to go into hiding for his safety after the false accusation, according to an election official.

The Nov. 5 Instagram post of the video was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The video

The 30-second video shows a man sitting at a desk handling paper. 

"I’m wondering what’s going on here," the narrator of the video says. "This dude has a fit about something. And then flips off the ballot. And then crumples it up. If that’s not voter fraud, I don’t know what is."

The man in the video, appearing somewhat agitated as he works, crumples up a piece of paper with one hand and puts it into a bin on a desk next to him.

The response

Richard Barron, the elections director in Fulton County, Ga., said on Nov. 6 that his office reviewed the video and found it shows a worker handling absentee ballots in a ballot processing area inside State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The worker’s job was to use a cutter to open envelopes containing ballots. The ballot processing was done at another station in the facility. 

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Barron noted that ballots are 8.5 by 19 inches long and that the piece of paper the worker discarded, which Barron said contained voter instructions, was much smaller.

"The answer is no, undeniably no," Barron said, as to whether the worker discarded a ballot.

Barron said the worker is staying with friends and not driving his vehicle because his personal information had been released after the video went viral. 

"He is currently in hiding because he’s had threats. He’s had to shut down all of his social media and all of his personal information was released. Personally, I think it’s shameful," Barron said.

Our ruling

The post claimed to show in a video that a poll worker committed voter fraud by throwing away a ballot.

The man was throwing away a paper with voter instructions, elections officials said. 

We rate this claim False.

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Georgia election worker falsely accused of discarding ballot is in hiding, official says

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