Fact Check: Trump Team Does NOT Have Dominion Machine From A Small Georgia County That Shows Votes Flipped from Trump to Biden

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fact Check: Trump Team Does NOT Have Dominion Machine From A Small Georgia County That Shows Votes Flipped from Trump to Biden Denied

Did Donald Trump's campaign gain control of voting machines in a small Georgia county and run tests that showed votes were flipped from Trump to Biden? No, that's not true: Articles and social media posts making the claim say the voting machines in Ware County, Georgia, were taken by the "Trump Team" for study and that they proved a flip of 37 votes out of a total of 14,000 for Trump. A high-level official with the Georgia secretary of state's office, which oversees elections said there is nothing true about the claim. Ware County's election manager also denied the report to a Politico reporter, but he did confirm that the recent hand recount of votes did add 37 votes into Trump's column. The false claim appeared to have started when the testimony of a witness cited in Trump's lawsuit to overturn the Georgia election was misinterpreted by a reporter. That witness told Lead Stories the reporter's story was "a myth."

The claim appeared in an article published by The Gateway Pundit on December 4, 2020 titled "BREAKING HUGE: Trump Team Has Dominion Machine from Small Georgia County - Shows Votes Flipped from Trump to Biden" (archived here) which opened:

The Trump team has obtained a Dominion voting machine in Georgia. The machine shows votes were moved from President Trump to Joe Biden. BOOM.
Yesterday on the War Room it was reported that the Trump team has obtained a Dominion voting machine in Georgia:

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

BREAKING HUGE: Trump Team Has Dominion Machine from Small Georgia County - Shows Votes Flipped from Trump to Biden

The Trump team has obtained a Dominion voting machine in Georgia. The machine shows votes were moved from President Trump to Joe Biden. BOOM. Yesterday on the War Room it was reported that the Trump team has obtained a Dominion voting machine in Georgia: BREAKING: Trump team now has a Dominion machine from Ware County,...

The source for the Gateway Pundit article is a tweet by a Trump supporter, who in turn cited a short segment in the "War Room" video podcast of former Trump 2016 campaign manager Steve Bannon:

BREAKING: Trump team now has a Dominion machine from Ware County, #Georgia with EVIDENCE of Trump votes being switched to Biden.

The tweet linked to this YouTube video:

Syndicated radio talk show host John Fredericks, a Trump supporter, was reporting for Bannon's "War Room" podcast from the Georgia capitol on Thursday, December 3, 2020, when he related what he saw in a written statement by Garland Favorito, who heads the pro-Trump group VoterGa. Favorito was simply reporting that the hand recount in Ware County added 37 votes to Trump's column and removed 37 from Biden's. Favorito's statement (see below) noted that the shift represented about one-half-of-one-percent of the county's 14,192 votes, "exactly double Biden's total statewide margin of point-26-percent of Georgia's nearly 5 million votes."

image (47).png

Fredericks, however, spun a whole new story about how Favorito had gained control of a Dominion voting machine in Ware County and used it to find out how the vote count was being inflated nationwide for Biden:

He's got a Dominion machine that they were able to do a forensics study on in Ware County. It's a small county. He's got evidence that this machine, Steve, has flipped the votes. They flipped votes. They flipped 37 votes in Ware County, he's got the evidence.

The Gateway Pundit repeated this false reporting as the basis for its article.

Favorito told Lead Stories in a phone interview on Sunday, December 6, 2020, that he never claimed to have controlled or studied a Dominion voting machine. He called the Gateway Pundit report "a myth":

The Gateway Pundit is just repeating this and never verified it. That was all a myth that was reported. Ware County did their own reporting.
In fact, the Ware County recount did find 37 more votes for Trump and 37 fewer for Biden. Ware County's election supervisor told Politico reporter Marc Caputo that no one has gotten one of his voting machines. Caputo also reported the shift in votes was caused by a human error:
Ware County Election Supervisor Carlos Nelson told me this is false: No one has obtained any machine from his office. There was a human-error tabulation issue discovered during the hand recount, the tallies of which were matched by the just-ended machine recount
Here is Caputo's tweet about the matter:
Caputo said that according to Nelson...
... this involved absentee ballots and human error with tabulation equipment, which have nothing to do with the Dominion voting machines that people use to mark their ballots on Election Day at the precinct. Ware County elections workers scanned a batch of ballots but there was a jam during the tabulating process. So ballots needed to be re-scanned. The ballots were then rescanned/tabulated, but they forgot to erase the prior scan. As a result of the tabulation problem and the human error, the final numbers in Ware County were off. It wasn't caught until there was the Risk Limiting Audit was performed where ballots were counted by hand. A subsequent machine recount confirmed the handcount numbers. What are the numbers we're talking about? Very small, says Nelson. In the end, Biden's vote count dropped by 42 in Ware (4,211 to 4,169); Trump rose by 37 (9,865 to 9,903). One of those new Trump votes was an overvote that the elex board said clearly was intended for Trump. Nelson was clearly exasperated by the disinformation disseminated by Steve Bannon: 'Social media and people are gonna make what they can out of it to fit their narrative."
Caputo's Twitter thread concluded with a quote from the Ware County election official insisting his machines "are secure."
Favorito's account is similar to Nelson's, although he told Lead Stories while he is not sure why Ware County's first count was off by 37 Trump votes, he is suspicious that malware may have infected the Ware County machines causing the miscount.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes thegatewaypundit.com as:

A partisan conservative website that regularly publishes hoaxes, conspiracy theories, and unsubstantiated claims, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

This fact check is available at IFCN's 2020 US Elections #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.


  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

Different viewpoints

Note: if reading this fact check makes you want to contact us to complain about bias, please check out our Red feed first.

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Follow us on social media

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion