Fox News host Tucker Carlson apologizes for erroneously claiming a dead man voted in Georgia – USA TODAY

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Hannah Yasharoff
 
| USA TODAY

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Fox News host Tucker Carlson apologized Friday for a report earlier in the week that falsely claimed a man who had been dead for 14 years voted in the 2020 election, when in actuality it was his 96-year-old widow who cast her ballot.

“We’ve got some good news tonight, and an apology. One of the people who voted in last week’s election isn’t dead,” Carlson told viewers. “A whole bunch of dead people did vote … but James Blalock was not among them. … So apologies for that and of course we’re always going to correct when we’re wrong. And we were.”

James Blalock’s widow, Agnes Blalock, voted under the name Mrs. James Blalock, Carlson noted after Newton County officials on Thursday debunked reports that a ballot for the late James Blalock had been submitted. Atlanta station WXIA-TV confirmed with the Jackson County Board of Elections that Linda Kesler, who was also called out by Carlson, died in 2003 and did not vote in 2020.

The Secretary of State’s voting database does not show the “Mrs.” prefix, though Agnes Blalock’s profile shows she is female and signed the ballot as “Mrs. James E. Blalock, Jr.,” according to a statement from Newton County officials. 

Fox News directed USA TODAY to Carlson’s on-air apology when reached for further comment.

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An earlier broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” displayed the names of 25 deceased Americans and claimed they cast ballots in the 2020 election, including Blalock, Kesler and two others in Georgia. Carlson said that proved mail-in voter fraud was evident enough in Georgia to warrant a recount. 

“Right now, fewer than 15,000 votes separate Donald Trump from Joe Biden in the state of Georgia. It’s close enough that it’s worth getting specific about what happened there,” said Carlson, noting Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced there would be a hand recount. 

Biden has been projected as the winner of Georgia, though the state is conducting a hand recount of nearly all 5 million of its ballots. The president-elect leads Trump by about 14,000 votes. 

“In some ways, it’s an inspiring story: the triumph of voting over death. And no one quite embodies that story like James Blalock,” Carlson added, referencing the Covington, Georgia, resident who died in 2006. 

“How did he do that?” Carlson asked. “Maybe James Blalock was just one of those extraordinary mail carriers – neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night, nor even death itself could keep him from the mail. In his case, maybe voting from the grave wasn’t really fraud, it was just commitment.”

Former Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox noted in a recent interview with the USA TODAY Network that once a secretary of state certifies his or her state’s election results, legal challenges may begin, though there are two standards that must be proven: not only that there was “some kind of error or fraud or mismanagement,” but that it was widespread enough to “cast doubt on the outcome.” 

“You would have to show more than 14,000 votes were improperly cast or somehow fraudulently obtained or whatever,” Cox said. “If you show 50 or 100, well, that’s not good, but it doesn’t change the outcome of the election, so it’s not going to result in any remedy from a court.”

Contributing: Rana Cash, Savannah Morning News

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