Political News

Fact Check: Georgia's military ballots are not missing

Posted November 6, 2020 5:26 p.m. EST

— With former Vice President Joe Biden edging closer to a potential victory on Friday, President Donald Trump continued his efforts to cast doubt over the results of the election.

Around 12:30 pm ET on Friday, the President suggested something nefarious was happening in Georgia, where Biden was ahead by approximately 1,500 votes as of Friday at noon. The implication of Trump's tweet is that "missing" military ballots might have been a contributing factor to Biden's lead in the state.

"Where are the missing military ballots in Georgia? What happened to them?," Trump tweeted.

Facts First: It's false to suggest there are missing military ballots. While there are military ballots that have been issued but not yet counted, there is zero evidence that they are somehow "missing." Or that anything out of the ordinary has happened with them. It's likely they're in the process of being delivered back to Georgia from overseas, as is the normal procedure.

According to Gabriel Sterling, the Voting System Implementation Manager for the Georgia secretary of state, roughly 18,000 military ballots had already been sent in and counted as of Friday afternoon. Under Georgia law, the remaining 8,410 military and overseas ballots which were issued can still be counted if they arrive by close of business today and were postmarked by Election Day.

"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."

It's worth noting that just because someone requested a ballot does not mean they have submitted it and mailed it back. Military ballots function much like ballots for all other overseas US citizens. Stateside military who are often not stationed in their home of record are also eligible.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.