Georgia officials slap down Trump tweet

Elizabeth Culliford
·2-min read

Georgia officials overseeing the state's Senate run-offs have hit back at a tweet from President Donald Trump stoking fears about voting machines, saying despite one early problem the elections are running smoothly.

On Tuesday afternoon Trump tweeted "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. Ballots are being left in lock boxes, hopefully they count them."

The tweet was retweeted more than 45,000 times.

Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office responded in a statement that although some issues were reported, they did not stop the vote and were resolved by 10 am.

"At no point did voting stop as voters continued casting ballots on emergency ballots, in accordance with the procedures set out by Georgia law," it said.

Gabriel Sterling, manager for Georgia's voting systems, said on Twitter there had been a programming error on security keys but it was quickly resolved, and added: "Sorry you received old intel Mr. President."

Claims have proliferated on social media platforms, including Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc, linking Dominion to alleged fraud in the November 3 presidential election that Trump lost to Joe Biden.

News media have debunked the claims, which have not been backed up with evidence.

Dominion machines were used in 24 of the 50 US states in November, including states Trump won.

A Dominion spokeswoman said on Tuesday the company would be bringing an "imminent" lawsuit against attorney Sidney Powell over allegations about the voting machines and the company was keeping all options open for additional litigation.

Trump's claim his loss in November was the result of widespread election fraud has been widely rejected by state and federal election officials and multiple courts.

Officials in his own administration have described the vote as "the most secure in American history".

Meanwhile, Facebook said on Tuesday Georgia would again be added to its existing political ad ban after the Georgia run-offs.

"This is part of our ongoing efforts to reduce the potential for confusion or abuse," Facebook told advertisers.

Last month, Facebook said it would lift its temporary ban for political ads in Georgia, as the state prepared for the elections.

Both Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google introduced pauses on political ads after the November 3 presidential election as part of measures to combat misinformation and other abuses on the sites.

Google lifted its pause in December, saying it no longer considered the post-election period to be a "sensitive event."

Facebook said in a blog post on Tuesday any ads about the Georgia runoff elections would be paused and any advertisers who were previously allowed to run ads about the Georgia run-off elections would not be able to create new political ads.