Fact Check: Trump and His Accomplices Continue to Spread Falsehoods on Social Media

By Updated at 2020-12-04 02:46:11 +0000

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(Reuters) — Social media users have been sharing posts which claim to show a video of an employee of the electronic voting company, Dominion Voting Systems, manipulating and stealing voting data. However, a spokesperson for the Gwinnett County government and the voting system implementation manager for Georgia have explained that the person in the video is a Dominion technician who was simply transferring a data report to another computer so he could read it and use the other computer to filter requested information. A spokesperson for Dominion said that it is not physically possible for vote tabulators to use a USB stick to add votes for a candidate.

The video in the posts (here , here , here) shows a man wearing a lanyard who is working on a computer and then stands up and moves to the corner of the room to work on a laptop. He clicks on different pages on the laptop and then removes a USB stick from the laptop. He then walks out of the room, apparently still holding the USB stick. The man’s computer screens are blurry in the video and seen from a distance so it is not possible to identify what he is working on.

Captions on the video say, “Watch a Dominion Representative at Gwinnett County Election Central, responsible for tabulating ballots and certifying results, download data to a USB from the Election Management System, plug it into a laptop, manipulate the data, then palm the USB.” Some captions give the alleged name of the technician, discovered by zooming in on a screenshot of the badge on his lanyard in the video.

A spokesperson for the Gwinnett County Government explained to Reuters via email what the video actually shows: “This is a Dominion technician producing a data report on the server and saving the report to a Dominion USB thumb drive and then using a laptop to filter requested information. The Dominion servers are not equipped with Excel and counties are not authorized to install any hardware or software on these systems.”

The voting system implementation manager for Georgia, Gabriel Sterling, also debunked the claim made in the social media posts in a press conference on Dec. 1 where he also asked President Donald Trump to “stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence” through baseless claims of a rigged election (here) .

At 17 second mark of this Reuters video here Sterling explains that the Gwinnett County official was transferring the report so he could read it, “A 20-something tech in Gwinnett County today has death threats and a noose put out saying he should be hung for treason because he was transferring a report on batches from an EMS to a county computer so he could read it.”

Sterling later clarified in a tweet about the noose: “I said the noose was on Twitter saying he’d commit [sic] treason.” (here)

Reuters was able to identify a tweet of this nature against the individual named in the social media posts.

When asked a question by Fox News anchor Eric Shawn, not necessarily related to this specific incident, about whether a poll worker can take a thumb drive, stick it into the machine and fill it up with votes for Joe Biden or upload material from foreign sources, Michael Steel, a spokesperson for Dominion Voting Systems, said, “No. The tabulator has no unlocked thumb drive access, no unlocked USB ports […] It’s not physically possible to do what they’re describing. The machines are what we call air-gapped, they are not connected to the internet.” (here)

The Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council Executive Committee and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council said in a statement that election security officials have no evidence that ballots were changed, deleted or lost by voting systems in the Nov. 3 U.S. election, which they described as “the most secure in American history.” (here)

Republican President Donald Trump has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud (here).

Reuters has debunked many other claims related to Dominion (here , here , here) and voter fraud (here , here).

VERDICT

False. A spokesperson for the Gwinnett County Government and the voting system implementation manager for Georgia said the man shown in the video is a Dominion technician using the USB to transfer a data report to another computer where he was able to filter requested information. A spokesperson for Dominion said that it is not physically possible for vote tabulators to use a USB stick to add votes for a candidate.

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

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