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Fact check: A Fulton County warehouse was not filled with fake ballots

Social media users have been sharing content online that claims a warehouse in Fulton County, Georgia was filled with thousands of counterfeit ballots. This claim is false.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples can be seen here and here .

The claim was posted on Dec. 13, 2020 by attorney Lin Wood and retweeted by attorney Sidney Powell here .

On Jan. 1, 2021, former CEO of Overstock Patrick Byrne tweeted the same claim with some of the same photographs showing ballots at a warehouse here . The Gateway Pundit published an article about Byrne’s tweet and claims here .

One post here , had more than 1,300 shares at the time of publishing.

Gabriel Sterling, voting system implementation manager for the Georgia secretary of state, held a press conference to address election fraud claims on Jan. 4, 2021, a day before Georgia’s Senate runoff elections. A video is available on C-SPAN here .

In the press conference, Sterling addressed a variety of claims including the assertion that thousands of fake ballots were found in a Fulton county warehouse.

At the 20:45 mark, Sterling says: “For any of you all in the press who have been to the Fulton County warehouse, these are the emergency ballots that have been sitting in that warehouse since before the November election, very much in plain view for everybody to see.”

He explained that it is a state election rule to have emergency ballots available in case they are needed.

A document showing the Georgia state election board rules here explains that for any primary or general election where a state or federal candidate is on the ballot, there should be emergency paper ballots available in the quantity of at least 10% of the number of registered voters to a polling place.

In the press conference, Sterling added that there was a COVID-19 outbreak at the Fulton county warehouse close to the time when the logic and accuracy testing of voting equipment would have taken place. More information about the outbreak can be foundhere and here .

Out of an abundance of caution, officials decided to print 100% of the paper ballots needed in case testing could not take place on the machines due to the outbreak, and paper ballots would have to be used.

Sterling confirmed during his press conference that the testing was able to be completed after all, and that the large number of paper ballots now stored at the warehouse was the result of this.

VERDICT

False. Photographs show unused emergency paper ballots ordered due to an abundance of caution, following an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Fulton County warehouse.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .         

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