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Truck did not destroy voter fraud evidence in Cobb County, Georgia

November 24, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Video of a shredding truck outside a government building in Cobb County, Georgia, on Tuesday shows that election officials are destroying evidence of voter fraud.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The truck was there for a regularly scheduled visit to the county tax commissioner’s office, which shares a building with the county’s main office of elections. No documents related to elections were destroyed, a county spokesman confirmed.

THE FACTS: A conservative attorney who attempted to block the certification of election results in Georgia tweeted a series of videos on Tuesday that he claimed showed “evidence of voter fraud” being destroyed in Cobb County, Georgia.

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They actually showed something far less scandalous: a routine shredding of county tax documents.

In the videos posted by attorney L. Lin Wood, a truck from the company Shred-it is parked outside the West Park Government Center in Marietta, Georgia. In some of the videos, an individual wearing a yellow vest loads trash can-like containers onto the truck. 

“Evidence of voter fraud is being destroyed in Cobb County, GA TODAY,” Wood captioned one of his tweets. “Many people, powerful & not so powerful, are going to PRISON.”

Wood’s videos gained traction quickly on social media, racking up more than 400,000 views within two hours of being posted. His tweets on the topic were collectively shared more than 30,000 times.

However, Wood’s claims are false. Although the county’s main elections office is located at the West Park Government Center, the truck was there for its regular, twice-monthly visit to the tax commissioner’s office, which is housed in the same building, according to Ross Cavitt, communications director for the county.

“The Tax Commissioner scans all documents that come in and once they are checked in and archived the rest goes to the shredder,” Cavitt told The Associated Press in an email. “No items from Cobb Elections were involved.”

Ballots and other documents related to the recount effort are housed at the Jim R. Miller Event Center several miles away from where these videos were shot, Cavitt said.

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A different video shared over the weekend claimed to show a shredding truck destroying ballots at the Miller event center, but the truck was actually destroying “non-relevant” election waste, according to county officials.

Georgia’s governor and top election officials certified results showing Joe Biden won the presidential race in the state on Nov. 20. Those results were affirmed by a hand count of the 5 million ballots cast in the race, according to results released by the secretary of state’s office. 

President Donald Trump requested the certified results be recounted, and county election workers began that process on Tuesday.

Wood did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536