Trump says voting machines down in Georgia GOP ‘strongholds,' secretary of state's office says otherwise
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President Trump tweeted about voting machine complications in Georgia's "Republican strongholds" Tuesday afternoon, but was rebuked by an official from the secretary of state’s office.
"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," Trump tweeted. "Ballots are being left in lock boxes, hopefully they count them."
Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system implementation manager, quickly corrected the president and said the issues had been "resolved hours ago," adding that the secretary of state’s office was keeping the public informed in "real time."
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"The votes of everyone will be protected and counted," Sterling tweeted in response to Trump’s claims. "Sorry you received old intel Mr. President."
The secretary of state's office said that voting was running smoothly in the Peach State with no wait times exceeding 30 minutes. Only one polling station reported wait times longer than 20 minutes.
The issue Trump referenced occurred in Columbia County, where a technical issue arose after keys used to start the paper ballot scanners were programmed incorrectly – though the office confirmed in a Tuesday statement that the issue was resolved by 10 a.m.
In addition, the state’s voting body also reported that some of the poll workers' cards were "programmed incorrectly," which prohibited them from being able to access the paper-ballot counting machines.
"The correct keys and voter cards were delivered to the relevant precincts with a law enforcement escort," the secretary of state’s office said.
Sterling, a Republican, held a press conference Monday to counter voter fraud claims made by Trump following his defeat in the traditionally red state during the presidential election.
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"It's whack-a-mole again," Sterling said Monday, speaking in front of a poster titled "Claim vs Fact," and debunked allegations made by the Trump campaign. "It's Groundhog Day again."
Sterling urged people not to "self-suppress" their vote — specifically targeting pro-Trump voters who GOP officials fear could feel disenfranchised after Trump’s repeated claims of voter and election fraud.
"Given the nature of the president's statements…we are specifically asking and telling you to turn out and vote tomorrow," Sterling said.
Sterling’s press conference came just one day after an explosive phone conversation between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, where the president asked Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes" – which would secure his win over President-elect Joe Biden.
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In the audio released by The Washington Post, Trump can be heard insisting that he won the Peach State, adding that Georgians are "angry" and may not head to the polls Tuesday in protest.
Raffensperger refused to concede the president’s claims and told him "Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong."
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