Greene falsely claims husband’s voting record reveals a ‘scam’

‘He only voted one time,’ county election official tells the AJC.

In weekend tweets, Congresswoman-Elect Marjorie Taylor Greene joined the chorus of hardened Trump supporters seeking to discredit Georgia’s elections with her own claim that someone obtained an absentee ballot in her husband’s name.

“Georgia Election Scam!” she wrote. “My husband never requested an absentee ballot, but when he went to vote they told him that they had already received his absentee ballot. But he NEVER requested an absentee ballot nor did he send one in!”

Greene posted a screenshot of Perry Greene’s voter information page on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website showing her husband voted early in Floyd County on Oct. 23 and that the vote was accepted. The screen also shows a second ballot, requested and received the same day, was cancelled.

“What really happened to the other ballot?” she wrote.

Nothing happened, said Robert Brady, chief clerk of elections for Floyd County. More specifically, it was cancelled according to procedure.

“According to this, he signed an affidavit on the 23rd and he was allowed to vote," he said. “He only voted one time.”

Efforts to undermine Georgia’s election began building after President-elect Joe Biden overtook President Trump in the count last week, and intensified over the weekend after Biden won Pennsylvania.

President Trump questioned Georgia’s count with misleading tweets about military ballots.

“Where are the missing military ballots in Georgia?" Trump tweeted last week. "What happened to them?”

In a news conference last week, Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager for the Secretary of State’s office, addressed the tweet saying there were no “missing” ballots. He said some 18,000 military ballots had been received and counted, and at that time, there were 8,410 still out. The deadline for receiving military and overseas ballots was Nov. 6.

“That does not mean that there’s a bucket of 8,410 votes to be counted,” Sterling said. “It’s going to be more than 0 and less than 8,410.”

Election officials continued counting outstanding ballots Monday, including military ballots received by Friday’s deadline. On Monday afternoon, the state had 18,407 overseas and military ballots cast, and 7,786 ballots requested but not returned before Friday’s deadline.

Greene began tweeting about her husband’s ballot Sunday, and by Monday evening it had been retweeted more than 7,000 times. She restated the claim in a tweet Monday afternoon to President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Brady, the Floyd election official, said he couldn’t tell from information available Monday if Perry Greene had actually been sent an absentee ballot or if it was a data entry error, but either way, the poll worker followed the correct procedure by cancelling that application, asking the voter to sign an affidavit and then providing a fresh ballot.

State records show that in-person ballot was accepted.

“Once this shows as him having cast a ballot, it wouldn’t matter if we got 25 more ballots from him. We are not going to take any more of them because we know there aren’t any more ballots in play,” Brady said.

When asked about Greene’s accusation, Brady was circumspect, but he noted that Greene has a history of making inflammatory accusations, including about the election.

“What’s happening here is Ms. Greene is making a mountain out of a molehill, and it’s something that literally thousands of other voters had to deal with," he said. “There are reasonable logical explanations for this beyond the fact that there was some kind of nefarious action.”

Greene has emerged as a leading voice in Georgia for claims of fraud in the presidential count. Her election in the deeply conservative northwest Georgia district has concerned people in both parties both for shoot-from-the-hip style and her history of repeating outlandish claims related to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Greene and her staff were busy Monday setting up her new Washington office, but spokesman Nick Dyer said Perry Greene’s ballot was “under investigation.”

“They are pursuing it through every avenue available through Rome and the secretary of state’s office," he said.

On Monday, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, said on CNN he has not seen “any sort of credible examples” of fraud or irregularities in the state.

While some may chalk up the claims to politics or the unusually pugilistic styles of Trump and Greene, wild accusations of election fraud are having real world consequences. Last week, Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron said one of his workers was “in hiding” after a widely shared Twitter video accused the worker of crumpling up a ballot.

The state GOP made the video part of a formal complaint to Barron and a request that he investigate.

Barron said the worker was crumpling up written instructions and that the paper in the video was much smaller than an absentee ballot. According to a statement from the county, the worker in question was using a cutting machine to open the outer envelope of absentee ballots, and that ballot extraction was done at another station.

"It’s been questioned whether the poll worker featured in the video was discarding one of those ballots. The answer is no, undeniably no,” Barron said Friday.

Staff writer Mark Niesse contributed to this report.

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