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A Georgia election worker is in hiding after a tweet incorrectly claimed to show him throwing out a ballot.
As all eyes shifted toward the Fulton County vote-counting operation at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena after Tuesday’s closely contested election, conservatives and conspiracy theorists followed the lead of President Donald Trump and began spreading the idea that the election was being stolen. A widely circulated video showing a poll worker in Georgia crumpling up a piece of paper was cited as evidence that pro-Trump ballots were being tossed. Angry social media users quickly revealed the worker's identity, sharing his license plate and home address.
“He is having to leave his house and go stay with friends,” Fulton County Elections Supervisor Rick Barron said, per Atlanta’s WSB-TV. “He’s afraid to drive his car because the information about his car, about his license plate are out there.”
Fulton County officials say the worker in question has gone to the ground, fearing for his safety. Barron also stressed that what was shown on the video was not a ballot being destroyed. Barron said the machine in question was an envelope cutter and the piece of paper was instructions.
“One thing that you need to know is that those ballots are 8 ½ by 19 inches long,” said Barron. “At no time did you see him extract anything from the envelope and that crumbled piece of paper, they were instructions and it was a smaller piece of paper.”
Though the state appears to be swinging toward a narrow victory for Joe Biden, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger warned that an official count is far off. The closeness of the race is likely to trigger a recount.
“With a margin that small, there will be, likely, a recount in Georgia. Interest in our election, obviously, goes far beyond Georgia’s borders. The final tally in Georgia, at this point, has huge implications for the entire country,” Raffensperger said at a recent press conference. “The stakes are high, and emotions are high on all sides. We will not let those debates distract us from our work. We’ll get it right.”