World news – It only took Georgia a few hours to come up with a new conspiracy theory for Trump supporters

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On Tuesday, several polling stations used for the Georgia Senate runoff election malfunctioned equipment, causing a handful of delays and potentially giving Trump supporters a hold on their conspiracy theories about electoral fraud. According to local reports, these weren’t incidents that usually get a lot of attention: Columbia County, in eastern Georgia, had problems with programming errors in the keys that start paper dial scanners and the cards that interview workers use this option to enable touchscreen voting devices. The problem was fixed at 10 a.m. after the Secretary of State sent new keys and cards. In Counties Paulding and Gwinnett, North Georgia, a ballot scanner also failed despite being quickly repaired or replaced.

Malfunctioning equipment at polling stations is a serious problem that can add unreasonably long lines and potentially discourage people seeking took the time to cast their vote. Malfunctions were all too common in previous elections, and not just found in the Georgia runoff. Often times, they point to a neglected voting infrastructure.

What they aren’t is evidence of a shady conspiracy to steal an election from a president – or in this case two of his Senate allies. Almost immediately, however, disinformation vendors campaigned for various reports of malfunctions in Georgia to support their unfounded claims about a more extensive voting machine manipulation company in the 2020 election.

Voting machines were an obsession with the MAGA world, thanks in part to the President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, who falsely claimed that software from election technology company Dominion enabled Democrats to switch votes from Trump to Biden. Prominent pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell has made even more fantastic claims, claiming that Dominion’s voting machines were created « at the direction » of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to influence election results and that the company also has ties to George Soros and the Clinton Foundation maintains. Dominion has been the subject of unsubstantiated speculation among supporters of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that a satanic pedophile ring rules the world’s major institutions, and Trump himself has claimed that the company’s machines had « enormous corruption ».

As reports of common malfunctions were from Georgia, Trump supporters naturally suspected that Dominion was trying to leave the Senate to the Democrats as well. One of the first to pick up on this Dominion thread Tuesday was John Fredericks, a conservative radio host and a member of the Trump campaign advisory committee. In an interview on Steven Bannon’s War Room podcast, Fredericks said people called on his show to report disruptions in Republican counties that he called « red flags » but also allowed it to be « coincidence. » could be. Gateway Pundit, a far-right blog that compounded Dominion’s misinformation, then posted a post with the interview, as well as a dozen social media posts from Georgia voters who had problems and blamed the company.

That Interview and the Gateway Pundit post were later picked up by Ron Watkins, one of the most influential figures in the QAnon scene. Watkins is known as the (former, he claims) administrator of 8kun, the imageboard on which the QAnon leader known as “Q” communicates with followers and can access the Q account at any time. Trump retweeted One America News Network interviews in which Watkins advertised misinformation about Dominion fraud. Speaking of the Georgia malfunction, Watkins said on Twitter, « The solution is in? » and « They’re smiling on our faces … »

It is reported from the Georgia 12th Congressional District that Dominion Machines have not been operating in certain Republican strongholds for over an hour. Ballot papers are left in lockers, hopefully they will count them. Thank you Congressman @RickAllen!

Gabriel Sterling, an electoral officer for the Georgian Foreign Minister, quickly shot back at Trump’s tweet, suggesting the president had received « old information ».

And this problem in Columbia Co. was fixed hours ago and our office notified the public in real time. Everyone’s votes are protected and counted. I am sorry that you have received old information, Mr President. https://t.co/qqGmnIqwsM

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