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- Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said his office was investigating a tip about ballot harvesting, which is illegal in Georgia. But he said that while how the ballots were handled could be illegal, there’s no indication that the ballots themselves are fraudulent.
The headline of a Jan. 5 blog post that’s spreading widely on social media suggests that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is putting himself in the crosshairs of an investigation.
"SoS Brad Raffensperger to Investigate Himself Over Voter Fraud…10 to 1 He Will Find Himself Innocent," the headline says.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The blog post goes on to say that Raffensperger said he was opening an investigation into ballot harvesting accusations.
"Since the 2020 election, Raffensperger has spent all of his time covering up the voter fraud that occurred," the post says. "He is basically investigating himself."
Raffensperger, a Republican, has regularly pushed back on false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, incurring the wrath of former President Donald Trump and his supporters. On Jan. 6, he tweeted: "One year ago, rioters stormed the Capitol driven by baseless stolen election claims and conspiracy theories."
The claim in the blog headline that he’s investigating himself is not accurate.
The post references a Jan. 4 report from Just the News, a site founded by former Hill reporter John Solomon. Solomon reported that Raffensperger had confirmed that "Georgia authorities have launched an investigation into an allegation of systematic ballot harvesting during the state’s 2020 general election and subsequent U.S. Senate runoff and may soon issue subpoenas to secure the evidence."
It’s illegal in Georgia for third-party activists to pick up and deliver ballots on behalf of voters, Solomon wrote, and in 2019, Raffensperger "led a successful effort" to strengthen the law.
The National Desk, a Sinclair Broadcast Group outlet, and the Washington Post also reported on the Just the News report. The Post noted that Raffensperger told the National Desk that his office had received the ballot harvesting tip from a group called True the Vote, but that the organization "does not allege the ballots delivered by couriers were fraudulent."
"Those are still lawful ballots," Raffensperger said, "but they’ve just been handled fraudulently with, obviously, the ballot harvesting."
What he didn’t say? That he’s going to investigate himself over voter fraud.
We rate that claim False.
Blog post, Jan. 5, 2022
Brad Raffensperger tweet, Jan. 6, 2022
The Washington Post, How the falsehoods survive, Jan. 6, 2021
Just The News, Georgia opens investigation into possible illegal ballot harvesting in 2020 election, Jan. 4, 2021
The National Desk, Georgia official who bucked Trump confirms active investigation into ballot harvesting, Jan. 4, 2021
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