The Trump campaign continued trying to baselessly suggest that Democrats were trying to steal the Georgia runoffs, insinuating that a minor voting machine error that had occurred earlier in the day — and that had long since been resolved — was something more sinister.
“Is it true that voting machines ‘stopped working’ earlier in Georgia today?” the campaign said in a text message sent to supporters Tuesday night. “Are Dems trying to STEAL this Election? FIGHT BACK!”
The text included a link to a fundraising site that stated: “Are you ready to PROTECT our Republican Senate Majority and SAVE AMERICA?” However, the fine print showed the money would go to President Trump and the Republican National Committee.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump tweeted about voting machine errors in one of the state’s counties: “Reports are coming out of the 12th Congressional District of Georgia that Dominion Machines are not working in certain Republican Strongholds for over an hour,” he wrote, referring to the company that has been the subject of baseless claims by the president and his legal team for weeks. “Ballots are being left in lock boxes, hopefully they count them. Thank you Congressman @RickAllen!”
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager, fired back less than a half-hour later to say that the problems had been fixed earlier in the day and that the president was spreading “old intel.”
“This issue in Columbia Co. was resolved hours ago and our office informed the public about it in real time,” Sterling tweeted. “The votes of everyone will be protected and counted. Sorry you received old intel Mr. President.”
His was the latest effort by Georgia election officials to debunk Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. At a news conference Monday, Sterling delivered a lengthy, point-by-point rebuttal of many of the accusations made by Trump and his allies ahead of Tuesday’s Senate runoff elections in the state.
Separately, the Georgia secretary of state’s office said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that in Columbia County, “a small number of the keys that start up the paper-ballot scanners were programmed incorrectly.”
“Additionally, a few poll worker cards were programmed incorrectly, meaning some poll workers were unable to start the touch screen voting machines used for paper-ballot voting,” the office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said. “The correct keys and voter cards were delivered to the relevant precincts with a law enforcement escort. Issues were resolved by 10am.”
Raffensperger’s office said the Senate runoffs were “running smoothly” overall, with wait times averaging just one minute throughout the state.