Dec 2, 2021 - Economy

2 election workers sue far-right website for spreading voting misinformation

Ballot counters in Georgia in November 2020

Election workers validate ballots in Lawrenceville, Ga., on Nov. 6, 2020. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Two Georgia election workers on Thursday filed a lawsuit against The Gateway Pundit, a far-right website, for accusing them "of committing ballot fraud to alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia."

Why it matters: This is one of the first lawsuits to be filed by individual election workers against media companies for spreading misinformation about the 2020 elections.

  • Previously, some voting companies had filed lawsuits against conservative media outlets such as Fox News, Newsmax and One America News.

Catch up quick: The Gateway Pundit published articles claiming that the two election workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss, "were involved in a conspiracy to commit election fraud. They continued to publish these untruths long after they were proven to be false," according to a press release.

  • The website allegedly identified the workers by name and published their pictures online, claiming that they interfered with the election results in favor of President Biden.
  • Former President Trump specifically mentioned Freeman by name during his Jan. 3 call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, where he attempted to overturn Biden's win in the state, per the New York Times.

Details: The suit "seeks to hold [The Gateway Pundit] accountable for just some of their knowing lies — their false and endlessly repeated accusations that Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss committed election fraud," the lawsuit says.

  • The plaintiffs say that the website spread misinformation saying that Freeman and Moss conspired to remove poll watchers from the room where they were counting ballots, produced "secret suitcases" filled with illegal ballots and ran those ballots through the vote-counting machines "multiple times."
  • Freeman and Moss are seeking compensatory and punitive damages from The Gateway Pundit.

What they're saying: "I couldn’t have imagined the lies that The Gateway Pundit would tell about me, pushing people to harass me and my family and to threaten us with violence," Freeman said in a statement.

  • "I want the defendants to know that my daughter and I are real people who deserve justice, and I never want them to do this to anyone else."
  • The Gateway Pundit did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Read the full lawsuit:

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