Following complaints and speculation about the shredding of documents at a vote-tabulation center in Cobb County, Georgia, officials issued a statement to allay fears, although GOP officials suggested that the move is suspect.
“There has been significant social media chatter about some document shredding at the Jim R. Miller Park Event Center in Marietta, Georgia where our Elections Department had previously conducted the state-ordered re-tally of votes in the November 3rd election,” the Cobb County Board of Election said in a statement. “The shredding company routinely responds to the Elections Department following an election to help remove non-relevant materials that cannot be easily disposed of.”
The firm, identified as A1 Shredding & Recycling, worked at the Jim R. Miller Event Center “early Friday,” and helped dispose of copies of apps printed from OnBase; copies of outdated policies, forms, notes, and form letters; envelopes with voter information on them; reports; sticky notes with voter information like phone numbers and email addresses; white privacy envelopes; printouts of old emails; duplicates of faxed applications; and other documents.
Cobb County GOP chairman Jason Shepherd said that it’s not the county election director’s decision to decide what’s of consequence and what’s not. Shepherd said he had talked to several other attorneys about putting every single county board of elections on notice to preserve everything in case of potential litigation.
It came after County Elections Director Janine Eveler said the items are not “relevant to the election or the re-tally” in the state.
“Everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballot applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file,” she said. “After an out-of-context video was shared on social media we contacted state officials to reassure them this was a routine clean-up operation and they could inspect our stored materials if they wish.”
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) November 20, 2020
It came after attorney Lin Wood posted a video on Twitter suggesting that county officials were destroying potential evidence related to allegations of voter fraud and irregularities.
“Looks to me like they may be destroying election documents in Cobb County, GA. What do you think?” he asked in another video.
The company, A1, also issued a statement about the matter to local news outlets, saying that it is aware of the videos being shared online.
“Given the confidential nature of the documents that are provided, we do not inspect nor do we have any knowledge of the contents of the materials that we are asked to pick up and shred for our customers,” the firm said, adding that it contacted the FBI and Georgia Secretary of State’s office about the matter.
Despite the statements to the contrary, Georgia elections officials—namely Secretary of Brad Raffensberger—have come under fire for a perceived lack of transparency during the Nov. 3 election tabulation. Wood in a lawsuit filed for a subpoena against State Farm Arena seeking video footage filmed on the premises during and after Election Day.
The subpoena seeks all recordings taken between midnight Nov. 3 and midnight Nov. 5. The request specifically calls for recordings taken in and around “Room 604,” all elevators that provide access to the floor where that room is located, and all loading docks in the arena.
Wood’s subpoena further demands all documents related to plumbing issues on the premises during the Nov. 3-5 time frame. The request is linked to a pipe that purportedly burst in State Farm Arena on the morning of Election Day. County officials said on the night of Nov. 3 that the plumbing incident caused a two-hour delay to vote counting in a room where absentee ballots were tabulated.
Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.