Georgia Investigator: No 'Mystery' Ballots Counted After Poll Watchers Left
A Georgia state investigator denies an allegation by President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani that video evidence proves workers at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta counted "mystery" ballots that were hidden under a table until poll watchers left.
"Our investigation and review of the entire security footage revealed that there were no mystery ballots that were brought in from an unknown location and hidden under tables as has been reported by some," chief investigator for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office, Frances Watson, swore in an affidavit filed in federal court, Fox News reported.
Watson said his probe began after people complained on Election Day that Fulton County staff told clerks, media, and public observers to leave the arena due to a water leak, while vote counters kept tallying ballots.
The leak turned out to be a urinal that overflowed earlier that day, Watson said. He claimed that, according to his investigation, which included viewing footage and interviewing witnesses, no one asked media or observers to leave.
"They simply left on their own when they saw one group of workers, whose job was only to open envelopes and who had completed that task, also leave," Watson said.
Watson also stated the table under which ballots had allegedly been hidden didn't have anything underneath it when it was set up the morning of Nov. 3. He said at about 10 p.m., ballots that'd been opened but not counted were sealed in boxes and placed under the table while observers and media were present.
"This was done because employees thought that they were done for the night and were closing up and ready to leave," Watson said, adding: "The counting continued into later in the night" and boxes were opened so those ballots could be counted, Fox News reported.
Watson's affidavit doesn't address why workers thought the counting was done or why it later continued, Fox News reported.
It also doesn't dispute the allegation that counting took place after observers and media left. He noted, however, "[t]he investigation remains open" and investigators are continuing to look into the incident, Fox News reported.