Fact Check: 32,000 Votes Did NOT 'Disappear' From U.S. Senate Candidate Perdue Live On CNN And ABC -- A Typo Was Corrected

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: 32,000 Votes Did NOT 'Disappear' From U.S. Senate Candidate Perdue Live On CNN And ABC -- A Typo Was Corrected Typo Not Theft

Did 32,000 votes "disappear" from Georgia Senate runoff candidate David Perdue live on CNN and ABC? No, that's not true: Video from January 5, 2021, of the coverage of the runoff Senate races in Georgia showed the vote tally for David Perdue changing by 32,400 and claims were made that this was election fraud. Edison Research told Lead Stories the change was because an "incorrect vote was entered by a data entry operator" and not election fraud.

The claim appeared as a video published by Prime Time Patriots on YouTube on January 6, 2021, titled "Watch 32,000 VOTES *DISAPPEAR* from Georgia Senate run-off candidate David Perdue live on CNN." (archived here):

Click below to watch the video on YouTube:

The YouTube video showed the vote change on CNN from January 5, 2021.

This is a screengrab of the tally showing the votes for Perdue at 774,723

Screen Shot 2021-01-06 at 4.08.12 PM.png

This screengrab shows the Perdue tally at 742,323 after the change.

Screen Shot 2021-01-06 at 3.59.28 PM.png

An article published by 100 Percent Fed Up on January 6, 2021, titled, "WATCH: Over 32K Votes Disappear For David Purdue During Live ABC NEWS Broadcast," shared a tweet with video from ABC news with the same vote change.

Lead Stories reached out to CNN for comment and was referred to Edison Research, a media research company that provides exit polling data and election data to the television networks for all U.S. elections. In an email from Edison Research to Lead Stories on January 6, 2021, the company explained the vote change for Perdue was a data entry error.

"The vote drop for Perdue happened after we corrected an error that had erroneously added 32k to Perdue's vote count in Bibb county. The incorrect vote was entered by a data entry operator reporting results collected by an Edison reporter stationed at the Bibb County Office. This error was corrected within 5 minutes and accounts for the brief additional 32k votes for Perdue. The vote drop reflected the correct vote," Edison Research told Lead Stories via email on January 6, 2021.

Here is the breakdown of the vote reporting per Edison Research.

At 8:07PM the vote reported from the state feed from Georgia and reported by Edison was:

Ossoff 27986
Perdue 12496

At 8:15PM the following vote update was entered in error by a call center operator as reported by our vote count reporter at the Bibb County Office:

Ossoff 27986
Perdue 44896

At 8:20PM our quality control flagged this incorrect data and we deleted the update:

Ossoff 27986
Perdue 12496

At 8:37PM the Georgia state feed provided a new update:

Ossoff 28888
Perdue 14044

This claim recycles similar debunked claims made during the 2020 Presidential Election, when transpositions/typos by clerical staff were used as the basis for conspiracy theories about election fraud.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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