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Georgia probe finds allegations of election fraud against mother-daughter poll workers ‘false and unsubstantiated’

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(GEORGIA) — Allegations of election fraud against two Georgia election workers who became the subjects of a Trump-backed conspiracy theory in the aftermath of the 2020 election were found to be “false and unsubstantiated,” according to an investigative report released Tuesday by the Georgia Elections Board.

Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, both former election workers from Fulton County, faced threats of violence from conspiracy theorists after their election-night conduct on a polling place livestream proliferated online among right-wing election deniers who believed Donald Trump won the 2020 election.

In one video clip, online commentators accused Freeman of handling a suitcase of fraudulent or stolen ballots.

“The suitcases they claim we had were issued ballot boxes that we use every election,” Moss explained on an episode of ABC News’ IMPACT x Nightline last November.

Another clip showed Freeman handing her daughter a small item, imperceptible on the grainy livestream footage, that led some online commentators to accuse the two of exchanging a USB drive, which was allegedly meant to somehow manipulate votes. Freeman said it was just ginger mints that she kept in her purse.

The following week, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, appeared before a committee of the Georgia state legislature to advocate for their intervention in the electoral college certification — and told the legislators that a video circulating online showed “Ruby Freeman and Shaye Freeman Moss … quite obviously surreptitiously passing around USB ports, as if they’re vials of heroin or cocaine.”

Testifying last year in the House select committee’s Jan. 6 hearings, Freeman said, “I’ve lost my name and I’ve lost my reputation, I’ve lost my sense of security, all because a group of people starting with No. 45 and his ally Rudy Giuliani decided to scapegoat me and my daughter Shaye, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen.”

Freeman told ABC News’ Terry Moran that she subsequently received so much harassment from conspiracy theorists that she was forced to pack up and leave the suburban Atlanta home where she lived for 20 years.

As part of their probe, Georgia Elections Board investigators interviewed a social media user who “admitted he created a fake account and confirmed the content that was posted on the account was fake,” the new report said.

“We are glad the State Election Board finally put this issue to rest,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a statement following the release of the report.

“False claims and knowingly false allegations made against these election workers have done tremendous harm,” Raffensperger said. “Election workers deserve our praise for being on the front lines.”

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