Investigators Shoot Down Trump's Claim of 5,000 Ballots Cast by 'Dead People'

Published December 29th, 2021 - 09:34 GMT
former president Trump
In this file photo taken on October 11, 2015 demonstrators hold up a piñata of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a protest outside Trump Tower in Chicago, Illinois. SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
Former President Donald Trump repeatedly made the accusation that upwards of 5,000 dead voters were counted in Georgia's election

Investigators for Georgia's Attorney General shot down former President Donald Trump's claim that 'upwards of 5,000' dead people cast absentee ballots in the key battleground state in 2020, saying the actual numbers was four. 

All of the ballots were returned by relatives of the deceased and almost all votes alleged to have been sent in by dead people were found to actually be alive.  

Trump repeatedly made the accusation that as many 5,000 dead voters were counted in Georgia's election, which Trump lost by about 12,000 votes.   

One such case saw a 74-year-old widow turn in an absentee ballot on her husband's behalf in favor of Trump.     

'He was going to vote Republican, and she said, 'Well, I'm going to cancel your ballot because I'm voting Democrat.' It was kind of a joke between them,' Sharon Nelson's attorney told the State Election Board. 

Nelson's husband passed away in September, two months before the general election. 

'She received the absentee ballot and carried out his wishes. ... She now realizes that was not the thing to do.'

Another case saw a ballot submitted on behalf of Leon Rowe, a deceased man from Augusta. 

Investigators discovered that the handwriting on the ballot envelope matched that of Leon's mother Alline, who died in October 2020.  

Earlier in 2021, Georgia's Board of Elections discovered that Trion woman Sherry Cook submitted an absentee ballot for her husband Donald, who passed away months before the election.

Cook said that she and her daughter returned the vote after her husband signed it before his death. Investigators said the ballot wasn't issued until after he died.

The final case involved Herman Robert Jackson of Covington. His widow Glynda told investigators she submitted his ballot, claiming to know how he wanted to vote.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger - who sparred with Trump personally over his claims of voter fraud - said during a recent telephone town hall that the allegations of large numbers of deceased voters are untrue.

'What I tell people is what really happened in Georgia, because we proved that none of that was what happened,' Raffensperger said.

Election officials are hoping to see consequences for these decisions, even when they're mistaken.   

'Remorse is something we hear a lot, and it's something I appreciate because sometimes we do make these mistakes unknowingly,' Anh Le, a member of the State Election Board, said. 'However, the law is what it is.'      

The attorney general's office will further investigate the claims of ballots cast in the names of deceased voters.

Georgia's State Election Board has the power to levy fines between $100 and $5,000 per violation.

After the elections, Trump repeatedly went after state Republican election officials after multiple recounts failed to change the outcome. He demanded Kemp, a Republican who is up for reelection in 2022, resign. 

'He is an obstructionist who refuses to admit that we won Georgia, BIG!' Trump tweeted in late December. 

During a Jan. 4 rally in Georgia two days before the Capitol riot, Trump vowed to campaign against Kemp, while calling Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger 'crazy.'

'I’ll be here in about a year and a half campaigning against your governor, I guarantee you that,' Trump said.

Kemp seemingly responded to the 2020 election - and the Senate runoff elections where Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock took both of the state's open Senate seats - by passing new voting laws that President Biden called 'Jim Crow in the 21st century.' 

One of the biggest changes gives the GOP-controlled legislature more control over election administration. That has raised alarms about potential greater partisan influence.

The law replaces the elected secretary of state as the chair of the state election board with a new appointee of the legislature after Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rebuffed Trump's attempts to overturn Georgia's election results. 

It also allows the board to remove and replace county election officials deemed to be underperforming.

That provision is widely seen as something that could be used to target Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold covering most of Atlanta, which came under fire after long lines plagued summertime primary elections.

The law also reduces the timeframe in which runoff elections are held, including the amount of early voting for runoffs. 

And it bars outside groups from handing out food or water to people in line to vote.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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