Former president Donald Trump and his supporters demonized and terrorized two rank-and-file elections workers in Georgia for months over a conspiracy theory alleging they had pulled fake ballots from suitcases at a ballot-counting center.
Wandrea “Shaye” Moss is a clerical worker for the Fulton County elections office, while her mother Ruby Freeman was a temporary worker counting ballots.
In early December, Trump's campaign falsely alleged — based on a video that went viral in right-wing media — that the two Black women had pulled fake ballots from suitcases hidden under tables at Atlanta's State Farm Arena after the Nov. 3 election.
The claim — heavily amplified by Trump himself and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani — led to Moss and Freeman being inundated with hundreds of death threats, including many laced with racial slurs, according to Reuters. Strangers showed up at their houses and banged on their doors, driving them into hiding and forcing them to take elaborate measures to conceal their identities. But they couldn't afford personal security protection, and the county wouldn't pay for it.
"The threats hurled at Freeman and Moss are part of a broader campaign of fear against election administrators that has been chronicled by Reuters this year," the report states. "The story of Moss and Freeman shows how some of the top members of the Trump camp – including the incumbent president himself – conducted an intensive effort to publicly demonize individual election workers in the pursuit of overturning the election. Some of these targets – including the top election officials in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona – are notable political figures in their states. Others, like Moss and Freeman, have been rank-and-file workers. Moss’s full-time job pays about $36,000 a year. Freeman’s temp gig paid $16 an hour."
After Freeman was first identified by Trump's campaign, she made a series of 911 calls, telling dispatchers that she had gotten a flood of threats.
“It’s scary because they’re saying stuff like, ‘We’re coming to get you. We are coming to get you,'" Freeman told a dispatcher.
“Lord Jesus, where’s the police?” she asked a dispatcher two days later. “I don’t know who keeps coming to my door. Please help me."
At one point, Freeman showed a police officer 428 emails and text messages on her cell phone, almost all of them threats, but no one was ever prosecuted. That figure doesn't include the threats the pair received via social media.
“The coon c*nts should be locked up for voter fraud!!!” one person wrote on the right-wing social media platform Parler.
“She should be shot,” others wrote on Facebook. “YOU SHOULD BE HUNG OR SHOT FOR YOUR CRIMES."
The threats only increased after Trump mentioned Moss and Freeman during his infamous Jan. 2 phone call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and they continued through the summer.
Although some election workers — including Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron — have chosen to quit due to threats from Trump supporters, Moss reported is staying.
"As a single mom, she needs the paycheck and the health insurance," according to Reuters.
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