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Fact check: Videos do not show ballots being shredded in Georgia

Multiple videos circulating on social media showing shredding services trucks parked in Cobb County, Georgia claim to show ballots being shredded. This is false. According to the Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration, this was a “routine clean-up operation” by the shredding company and none of the documents being disposed of were relevant to the election or the re-tally of votes.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Posts with this claim are visible on Facebook here and Instagram here .

The series of videos were tweeted by Lin Wood on Nov. 20 (archived versions archive.vn/C3W1E , archive.vn/hBgE4 , archive.vn/6zcpq , archive.vn/YwDoe , archive.vn/vA4F4 ). Wood is conservative lawyer that intended, and failed, to halt certification of president elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia ( here , here ).

According to Wood’s tweets and the audio of some videos ( here , here ), the footage was recorded by a woman who identifies herself as Susan Knox. Reuters could not independently determine the source of the videos.

One of the videos here shows a blue and green truck that appears to be from A1 Shredding & Recycling (www.a1shreds.com/). The scene captures a man carrying a trashcan from the truck towards the inside of a facility.

Around timestamp 00:09 a female voice can be heard saying: “I’m watching all of these ballots being shredded now. Unbelievable”. “What are they shredding? Massive amounts of ballots”, she says around timestamp 00:35.

In another video ( here ) , a woman behind the camera indicates she is at the Jim R. Miller Event Center ( bit.ly/3l5mzRm ), the location in which the Elections Department had previously conducted the state-ordered re-tally of votes of the Nov. 3rd election ( here ).

In a statement here , the Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration described the scene. Officials explained that the shredding company worked at that location on the morning of Nov. 20th, but that none of the disposed materials were “relevant to the election or the re-tally”.

“The shredding company routinely responds to the Elections Department following an election to help remove non-relevant materials that cannot be easily disposed of”, the statement reads.

The disposed materials, the county said, included incorrect mailing labels with voter information, copies of outdated or changed procedures, policies, forms, notes, form letters and duplicates of faxed applications, among other materials.

According to the statement, Elections Director Janine Eveler said that “everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballots applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file”.

In response to the videos circulating on social media, Eveler added, the county board of elections contacted state officials to “reassure them this was a routine clean-up operation and they could inspect our stored materials if they wish”.

Georgia began a second recount of votes from the Nov. 3 election on Nov. 24, in response to a request from President Donald Trump’s campaign. The new recount, which is not expected to alter certified results that show President-elect Joe Biden won the election, will end at midnight on Dec. 2, according to Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia official who oversees voting systems ( here ).

Reuters has debunked other claims about the election process in Georgia here , here , here .

VERDICT

False. Videos do not show “ballots being shredded” at Cobb County, GA. County officials said that the materials disposed at the Jim R. Miller Event Center on Nov. 20 in a “routine clean-up operation” were “non-relevant” to the election or to the re-tally of votes.

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

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