GA election officials investigating after suspected fake ballot discovered at early voting location

SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — State election officials say a possibly fake ballot was discovered at an early voting location in Spalding County Wednesday morning, officials confirmed to Channel 2 Action News.

A full-scale investigation is now underway about who created it and why.

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Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Mark Winne spoke to state elections director Blake Evans, who said officials at the Georgia Secretary of State’s office believes someone was trying to cast doubt on election integrity.

Evans said officials in Spalding immediately notified them when they spotted something off with a ballot.

“They identified one ballot that looked visibly different than the rest of the ballots and that appears to be a fake ballot,” Evans said. “They alerted us and we have opened and are conducting an investigation into the matter.”


Evans said the suspicious ballot does not appear to be on security paper used for all real Georgia ballot, which can be authenticated by running a special wand over it. Spalding elections officials found the ballot in a box where ballots drop after they are scanned into a scanner at the polling place.

Winne asked Evans if the scanning system worked.

“Yes, the system worked,” Evans said. “They county found that their numbers (didn’t match).”

The Spalding scanner showed 1,521 ballots had been entered into the system, but Spalding election officials showed only 1,520 voters checked in.

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“The ballots that were in their scanner were one up, so one more than the number of voters that they had checked in,” Evans said.

Evans said he and others at the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office believe that the ballot wasn’t created to add one more vote for a series of candidates, but to cast doubt on election integrity across the state.

Evans said whoever created the fake ballot put too much time into it for it to be a one-off.

He said whoever is behind it will face serious consequences.

“It is a crime if it is, indeed, a fake ballot,” Blake said. “We just started the investigation. It’s ongoing, and we’re moving quickly.”

Spalding County election board chair Ben Johnson told Winne that his company, Liberty Technology, has been serving Spalding County honorably for close to a decade without a problem. He said Liberty Technology does not maintain the Dominion Voting equipment, nor election registration or election management software or hardware.

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