Supporters of the president tracked down an obituary confirming that the World War II veteran, later postman, had died at age 81 in 2006.
This, Trump War Room tweeted, was a clear sign of voter fraud, further proof that the Democrats were stealing the presidency from Joe Biden.
A succession of obituaries of other deceased people who had also voted followed on the same Twitter.
One of them was Deborah Jean Christiansen, of Roswell, also in Georgia, who had passed away in May 2019, an avid gardener and bird watcher, survived by her grieving husband of 39 years.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson seized on the cases and listed them with a host of others, telling his viewers that these were inspiring stories of “a voting triumph over death.”
This was proof, he said, that voting by mail encouraged fraud and showed why the election was “fundamentally unfair,” the system “disorganized.” The fact that other media did not report on these dead voters was proof of bias.
Just one problem, these two voters are alive and well.
It is less common than in the 19th century, but in the US state of Georgia, it is still possible for a wife to assume her husband’s first name.
That’s what Agnes Blalock did, when she registered to vote in the 2020 Covington election, like James Blalock.
The 94-year-old told 11 Alive TV investigative reporter Brendan Keefe that she had done it to honor her late husband, “the best man I have ever known,” who passed away in 2006.
And Deborah Jean Christiansen was also reached by CNN on Wednesday night. The retired mental health counselor was born the same year and month, but on a different day. And he lives in a different county in Georgia, Cobb, not Fulton.
He said he thought the information should have been further verified, and actually felt sorry for his namesake’s family.
Carlson has since apologized for the mistakes, but the Trump War Room has not.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump tweeted: “The dead voted.”
In Pennsylvania, the Public Interest Law Foundation alleges that 21,000 allegedly dead residents were on the state’s voter rolls.
It is one of dozens of lawsuits across the country, most of which attempt to block the certification of election results due to a variety of problems with the mail and absentee ballots.
The Associated Press reports that there are 38 separate legal challenges in total, filed in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states the president lost. Trump’s team has featured 17 of them.
Rudy Giuliani, the former attorney who became New York mayor, assumed leadership of the legal team for $ 20,000 a day, the New York Times reports.
On Tuesday, he appeared in federal court for the first time in nearly 30 years, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The AP called the 76-year-old “rusty,” reporting that he “fiddled with his Twitter account and forgot which judge he was talking to.”
The attorney sitting across from him, representing the county boards of elections, Mark Aronchick, told CNN it was “one of the weirdest court appearances I’ve ever had.”
“We were there to attend to a complaint, that the administrators had done things that they thought were wrong. Nothing about fraud or conspiracies, but that’s what he talked about. It had no relation to what we were actually doing in court.” he said.
It was a precursor to the strange press conference on Friday that saw the #GiulianiMeltdown trend on Twitter and headlines like “Ghouliani” on the Drudge Report.
“I know the crimes. I can smell them,” Giuliani said, sweating profusely, what appeared to be streaks of hair dye running down the side of his face.
He claimed that Democrats were perpetrating a huge fraud in big cities, argued that Venezuela may have hacked the results, and quoted a line from the movie “My Cousin Vinny” while trying to illustrate how poll watchers couldn’t see the counts.
Few observers give Trump’s legal team any chance to reverse their loss. CNN’s Jake Tapper described the litigation as “unlikely, if not ridiculous,” Vanity Fair’s Eric Lutz called it “desperate.”
The court filings have been riddled with errors, misspellings of “post watcher” rather than “poll watcher,” many of the claims of foreign interference already debunked.
The chief of cybersecurity of the United States, Chris Krebs, described the elections as “the safest in history”, a statement that fired him.
And it’s worth noting that Trump is not hiring the Republican party’s top election lawyers, who represented the party in the battle for Florida’s recount 20 years ago.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mike Mulvaney told Fox Business: “I’m still a little concerned about the use of Rudy Giuliani … this is not a reality show, it’s real.”
Teri Kanefield of the Washington Post writes that the country’s Democratic institutions are dealing with the “utter incompetence of Trump’s legal team.”
“I’ve never seen an election attorney handle a case as badly as Giuliani,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine.
“It’s kind of a fallacy to say, well, Trump would do better if he had better lawyers,” Hasen said. “Part of the reason you don’t have good lawyers is that you don’t have good claims to make.”