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A worker at the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections works to process absentee ballots at the State Farm Arena, Nov. 2, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP) A worker at the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections works to process absentee ballots at the State Farm Arena, Nov. 2, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP)

A worker at the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections works to process absentee ballots at the State Farm Arena, Nov. 2, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher July 9, 2021

No evidence of missing absentee ballots in Georgia’s 2020 election

If Your Time is short

  • There is no evidence of batches of missing absentee ballots from the 2020 presidential election in the county that includes Atlanta.

A three-week-old article widely shared on social media on July 8 falsely states that an audit of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia found that more than 100 batches of absentee ballots were missing.

The article 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 article, published by Just the News, referred to the audit in its headline. The subheadline says: "Records suggest more than 100 batches of absentee ballots in Fulton County could be missing."

Just the News said that it reviewed documents and found that "more than 100 batches of absentee ballots — each containing approximately 100 or more ballots — were assigned tracking numbers before being sent to one of the five absentee vote-counting machines in Fulton County but are not subsequently recorded in the handwritten logs showing which batches were scanned and counted, raising concerns the ballots may be missing."

It’s speculation lacking evidence.

On the day the June 17 article was published, Georgia Public Broadcasting posted an article debunking it. GPB reported: 

"Just the News used selectively edited notes from a state-appointed monitor and a misunderstanding of elections and the risk-limiting audit process to claim that ballots ‘may be missing.’"

There were data entry errors, but no evidence of large batches of missing ballots, GPB reported. 

A risk-limiting audit on a sampling of ballots typically is done to confirm that the declared outcome of an election is accurate. But because Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in Georgia by some 12,000 votes, a full hand-recount was done. 

During the risk-limiting audit, "some counties discovered ballots that were not included in the original tally, but the results of the RLA did not change the results of the election," GPB reported. 

Fulton County spokesperson Jessica Corbitt-Dominguez told PolitiFact that no absentee ballots from the county are missing.

The absentee ballots were reviewed twice and "all paperwork has been reconciled in coordination with the Secretary of State," she said. 

The Secretary of State’s monitor notes referenced by Just the News "are in response to activity in ‘real time’ during the election process. All documentation was filed in compliance with state law and Secretary of State guidelines," Corbitt-Dominguez said.

The Secretary of State’s office declined to comment. 

We rate the post False.

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No evidence of missing absentee ballots in Georgia’s 2020 election

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