The claim: A lawsuit revealed thousands of duplicate ballots were found in Fulton County
“BREAKING: Thousands of ‘duplicate ballots’ have been found in Fulton County, Ga from the 2020 presidential election through a lawsuit against Dominion Voting Systems,” the screenshot reads.
The Instagram post was liked over 200 times within one day. The original post on X was reposted more than 16,000 times.
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Our rating: False
Georgia election officials said the claim is false and references an issue that was identified by election officials and corrected in 2020. There is no evidence thousands of duplicate ballots were found in Fulton County in 2023.
Duplicate ballots found in 2021 had no effect on official results
There are no credible news reports, breaking or otherwise, that mention thousands of duplicate ballots being found in Fulton County, Georgia, in 2023.
“The claim of ‘thousands of duplicate ballots’ in Fulton County is absolute steaming garbage made by grifters to prey on the gullible,” Mike Hassinger, a spokesman for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, told USA TODAY.
The post appears to be alluding to a discovery made in November 2020, when Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office ordered a risk-limiting audit of all votes cast in the state during that year’s presidential election. The manual recount confirmed that nearly 200 absentee ballots had been initially scanned twice – including a write-in vote for musician Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.
But the ballots did not affect the outcome of the election and the discovery was not the result of a lawsuit. The audit results were shared publicly by Georgia officials and showed that then-candidate Joe Biden did not receive any additional votes from the double counts in the final, official tallies. A Nov. 19 press release from the secretary’s office confirmed that Biden remained the winner of the state’s election for president.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution debunked the same claim in July 2021, stating that multiple recounts of the state’s election had confirmed Biden’s victory.
The Instagram post mentions Dominion Voting Systems, which filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News claiming the network knowingly broadcast lies about Dominion being perpetuated by former President Donald Trump and his attorneys after the 2020 election. The lawsuit was settled in April when Fox agreed to pay Dominion $787.5 million.
USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
Our fact-check sources:
- Mike Hassinger, Aug. 25, Email interview with USA TODAY
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 13, 2021, Some ballots initially double-counted in Fulton before recount
- Office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Nov. 19, 2020, Risk-Limiting Audit Report
- Office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Nov. 19, 2020, Historic First Statewide Audit of Paper Ballots Upholds Result of Presidential Race
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