2020 election

Trump’s Estimate of Dead Georgia Voters Was Just a Bit Off

It’s not like him to exaggerate. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

During his infamous call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021, former President Trump railed about the many different ways in which the state’s presidential contest had supposedly been stolen from him (before he simply asked Raffensperger to “find” him more votes). One of Trump’s preoccupations was dead voters, per the transcript of the call:

So dead people voted, and I think the number is close to 5,000 people. And they went to obituaries. They went to all sorts of methods to come up with an accurate number, and a minimum is close to about 5,000 voters.

Typically coherent stuff, yet Trump’s assorted ramblings since the election have produced investigation after investigation by Georgia’s election officials, who have taken on the quixotic task of convincing him and his allies that there was no funny business last November.

The latest was a probe by the Georgia’s State Election Board, looking specifically at the dead-voter issue. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Board, sifting through “dozens of allegations” found that almost all of the supposedly deceased people in such cases were in fact alive, and that the real number of offenses stood at… four.

And rather than any kind of systemic effort at cheating, these cases were the result of extremely rare individual tomfoolery:

In one case, a 74-year-old widow submitted an absentee ballot on behalf of her husband, William Nelson, after he died in September 2020.

“He was going to vote Republican, and she said, ‘Well, I’m going to cancel your ballot because I’m voting Democrat.’ It was kind of a joke between them,” Barry Bishop, an attorney for Sharon Nelson of Canton, told the State Election Board. “She received the absentee ballot and carried out his wishes. … She now realizes that was not the thing to do.”

The four malefactors have been referred to the state’s attorney general’s office. So we can close the book on this chapter, and surely Trump will be satisfied and never bring it up again, right? Right?

Trump’s Estimate of Dead Georgia Voters Was Just a Bit Off