Republican election official in Georgia publicly debunks President Trump's fraud claims

By now most Americans have heard, or at least heard about, President Trump's hour-long phone call with Georgia's Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, in which the sitting president attempted to convince the official in charge of Georgia's election to "recalculate" and "find" him enough votes to overturn the state's results in his favor.

The criminal implications inherent in the asking aside, the phone call was filled with baseless allegations that the president has "heard" and that "Trump media" has been sharing. It's the constant drumbeat of the past two months—the counts are wrong, the machines were rigged, the votes were flipped, the ballots were counted multiple times, fake ballots were brought in, signatures weren't checked, the recount was wrong, the audit was corrupt, and so on and so on and so on. The breadth and depth of fraud allegations is stunning, which is exactly the point. One or two allegations are easily checked and either verified or debunked. Flooding media with every allegation in the book makes it 1) impossible to debunk due to the sheer volume, and 2) more likely that some of the allegations will be believed, regardless of actual evidence.

It's Steve Bannon's "flood the zone with sh*t" approach to handling the media, and unfortunately, it works.


However, at some point, people need to realize that the real experts on elections are the actual experts on elections. That's not the president of the United States. That's not random poll observers. That's not any of the Newsmax or OAN reporters. That's not any of the so-called "data scientists" (some of whom hilariously turn out to be Sean Hannity's producer) who make claims in non-binding hearings but not in court.

In the U.S., the people elected and appointed to serve as state election officials are the final authority on whether or not an election was run properly. (Unless a lawsuit leads to a court deciding that something went awry, of course. As of now, Trump's legal team and allies are 1 and 61 in court for election cases. The one case they won just allowed poll watchers to stand a few feet closer to the poll workers.)

One of those election officials, Republican Gabriel Sterling who serves as the Voting Systems Manager for the Secretary of State office in Georgia, spoke at a press conference today to set the record straight on the continued allegations.

"We've seen nothing in our investigations of any of these data claims that shows there are nearly enough ballots to change the outcome. And the secretary and I at this podium have said, since November 3rd, there is illegal voting in every single election in the history of mankind because there are human beings involved in the process. It's going to happen. So the question is limiting it and putting as many safeguards as you can in place to make sure that it doesn't happen."

Sterling mentioned the hand tally and the allegation that Dominion machines used "fractional voting" or flipped votes. "Again, by doing the hand tally, it shows none of that is true," he said. "Not a whit."

He also addressed the overall claims about the Dominion voting systems, pointing out that in the counties in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that used Dominion voting machines, Trump actually won a majority of the vote. Then he debunked the idea that 900,000 votes had been deleted, as that would have meant a mathematically impossible turnout to begin with.

"Again, this is all easily, provably false," he said. "Yet the president persists."


Regarding Trump's allegation that some part of the Dominion machines were being switched out, Sterling said, "This one I don't fully understand. No one is changing parts or pieces out of Dominion voting machines. That's not -- I don't even know what that means. That's not a real thing. That's not happening. The president mentioned it on the call...from two days ago. That's, again, not real. I don't even know how exactly to explain that."

Visual aids are always helpful, so there was also a CLAIM vs. FACT poster displayed next to Sterling as he spoke that gave specific responses to specific numbers claims. Why people just believe numbers they see online instead of going to the source—again, the actual election officials—to see the actual, verified numbers is a bit baffling, yet here we are. Here's a close-up of the poster:

Again, Sterling is a Republican (as is Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, as Georgia's governor Brian Kemp, all of whom stand by Georgia's election result). He wanted Trump to win. He mentioned that Trump's allegations might be discouraging people from turning out to vote—especially Republicans who might be convinced that the election system is so flawed that there's no point in participating in it.

"Everybody's vote is going to count," Sterling said. "Everybody's vote did count."

Sterling referred to his press conference as yet another "Whack-a-mole" event, alluding to the fact that he has had to debunk these allegations over and over again, one at a time, for two months since the election. At one point he said he had screamed at his computer when he heard an allegation that's been debunked many, many times. So many of the "suspicious" allegations of fraud we've heard in testimonies and read in affidavits are just normal vote collecting and tallying processes that lay observers simply don't know are normal.

The poor guy sounded like an exasperated parent who's having to lecture their teenager about something they already should know for the hundredth time. Can't really blame him. It's exhausting to constantly battle a flood of misinformation and disinformation, especially when it's coming from the president himself.

You can watch the entire press conference here:

Georgia Secretary Of State's Office Holds Press Conference | NBC News www.youtube.com

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

William Shatner on Blue Origin's second space mission.

Once fictional space captain, now real-life astronaut William Shatner was moved to tears after his 11-minute journey beyond Earth's atmosphere.

As he landed back on the desert grounds of Texas, Captain Kirk himself remarked on the profound experience. His speech is so heartfelt and full of poignant reflections on life, it felt like another episode of "Star Trek."


"It was unbelievable. I mean you know the little things. To see the blue color and then this black. That's the thing—the covering of blue," said Shatner. "This sheet, this blanket, this comforter of blue. We think, 'Oh, it's blue sky.' And then suddenly you shoot through it all of a sudden like you whip off a sheet, and you're looking into blackness. Into black ugliness."

Getting emotional, he continued, "you look down, and there's the blue down there, and the black up there ... there is mother Earth, and just comfort, and there is just—is that death? Is that the way death is? It was so moving to me. This experience has been something unbelievable."

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!