SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A voting machine, found dumped on the side road just outside of Savannah, sparked much concern on social media Thursday. But the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office confirms it is outdated equipment.
Several photos of the machine were shared on Facebook of a voting machine lying in a grassy area.
News 3 is told it was found near Blueberry Hill Bar on Dean Forest Road in Garden City and that a second machine had been found as well. A photo shows one of the machines has a “Fulton County” label.
When Georgia’s old voting machines were shipped out of the Chatham County Board of Elections in January, operations manager John Leffler says he personally handled the process.
“All the equipment when it left here was completely stripped of any kind of information,” said Leffler. “Absolutely no information was on any machine that would have created any kind of disturbance.”
Leffler says although the machine doesn’t belong to the county, there is a reason it still exists.
“I understand there’s potential pending legislation about a lawsuit or something, so that’s why they were holding them and not destroying them,” said Leffler. “Normally, they would have been taken to an industrial shredder and they would have actually been destroyed.”
The photos have been shared more than 4,000 times and counting on social media, with some users quickly making allegations surrounding voter fraud.
“The whole idea that this election that has been orchestrated and there’s a conspiracy involved and the negativity involved,” said Leffler, “it’s hard to deal with on an everyday basis for those of us that are trying to put on a fair and just election.
Local law enforcement was notified of the discovery, along with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Officials say the device appears to be part of a shipment of defunct equipment being stored at the Port of Savannah.
“Machines of this type are no longer used in Georgia,” a statement from the Secretary of State’s Office reads. “There is no way it could have impacted the 2020 election because it does not print ballots, and this state has switched entirely to voting on paper ballots.”
It’s unclear at this time how the machine ended up on the side of the road. The Secretary of State’s Office says it’s possible this particular machine was part of a shipment of defunct equipment heading to storage at the Port of Savannah.
The Secretary of State’s Office is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery.
Leffler says the FBI was even brought in to check it for fingerprints.