Kanye West Write-In Vote Among Ballots Initially Counted Twice in Georgia

A write-in vote for rapper Kanye West was among nearly 200 ballots that were initially counted twice in Fulton County, Georgia, in the 2020 presidential election before the error was corrected, ballot images have shown.

The double-counted ballots were discovered by a group of voters who are suing Fulton County election officials in the hope of conducting an inspection of some 147,000 absentee ballots. The lawsuit alleges fraud in the county's presidential election.

The duplicated write-in vote for West was a telltale sign that the ballots had been counted twice. The voter who wrote West's name also appears to have written in actor and former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for vice president.

However, there is no indication that any ballots were counted twice in the official results of the presidential election in Georgia, according to a report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Nonetheless, the group of voters seeking an in-depth review of absentee ballots in Fulton County see the initial double-counting as an indication of what they're looking for.

David Cross, an investment manager who is working with the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, told the Journal-Constitution: "If we're finding this in Fulton County, we're probably going to find it throughout the state. The question is, why did it happen?"

"The simple fact that it happened and we found it here means that it probably occurred elsewhere," Cross said.

The state's ballot images have been made available to the public under Georgia's controversial new voting law. The double-counted ballots were scanned twice, generating two images of the same ballot.

Two statewide recounts affirmed President Joe Biden's win in Georgia. He carried the state by some 12,000 votes in a surprise upset. However, he won Fulton County with 73 percent of the 524,000 votes cast there.

Nine Georgia voters filed a lawsuit against Fulton County, the county elections board and the county courts clerk alleging fraud in the election, but a judge ruled in June that those entities enjoyed sovereign immunity and could not be sued.

However, the judge allowed the plaintiffs to add the five individual members of the county's Registration and Elections Board to the case as respondents, which means the suit is ongoing.

Officials in Fulton County, which is the state's most populous county, have repeatedly refuted allegations of fraud in the 2020 election. County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts said the claims were part of "the big lie."

"Allegations of intentional wrongdoing or fraud remain untrue and baseless," Pitts said. "The big lie is a dangerous conspiracy theory falsely claiming that tens of thousands of votes in Fulton County—and millions nationwide—were fraudulent, not that there's the possibility of small-scale human error."

Newsweek has asked the Fulton County Registration and Elections Board for comment.

A Sign Directs Voters to the Polls
A sign directing voters where to go sits outside of a Cobb County voting location on January 5, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Nearly 200 ballots were initially counted twice in the state's Fulton County in the 2020 presidential election. Megan Varner/Getty Images