Subpoenaed fake Georgia elector pushed election fraud conspiracy theories with Sean Hannity

Image of Sean Hannity and Brad Carver

Citation Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Georgia attorney and Republican political operative Brad Carver, who was reportedly served with a subpoena on Wednesday for his alleged role as an invalid “alternate elector” for President Donald Trump, pushed conspiracy theories about election fraud in the state on Trump adviser Sean Hannity’s radio show in December 2020.

Carver is part of Georgia’s GOP political establishment. He has served as the Republican local party chair in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District, as a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association, as a Republican National Convention delegate, and as a lawyer representing various GOP entities in litigation. 

Following the 2020 election, state party chair David Shafer appointed Carver to lead the state party’s “Election Confidence Task Force.” That body’s report concluded that the 2020 election “revealed dramatic weaknesses in Georgia’s system for conducting elections, and as a result, public confidence in the integrity of that system has been shattered.” It proposed a series of changes in state law that would make it more difficult to vote, some of which were codified in the voting law Georgia passed in 2021. Carver’s task force also called for “replacing all Dominion software,” a frequent target of unhinged conspiracy theories promoted by Trump and his right-wing media allies

Carver now faces legal jeopardy as one of the fake electors organized by the Trump campaign in states won by Joe Biden as part of the former president’s election subversion scheme.

Such individuals signed documents falsely declaring themselves “duly elected” electors which were then submitted to the National Archives and to Vice President Mike Pence, the January 6 House select committee revealed at Tuesday’s hearing. The Justice Department and FBI are reportedly investigating the conduct of these fake electors and on Wednesday, federal law enforcement officers served a subpoena at Carver’s Georgia home, according to The Washington Post.

Virtually all aspects of Trump’s election subversion scheme intersected with right-wing media at some point, and Carver is no different. He appeared on the December 4, 2020, edition of Hannity’s radio show, at a time when Trump, Hannity, and other right-wing propagandists were pushing conspiracy theories and false claims that purported election fraud had been responsible for Biden’s narrow victory over Trump in Georgia. 

Hannity asked Carver about a video the Trump campaign had claimed showed Fulton County election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss engaging in election fraud at a ballot tabulation site at State Farm Arena on election night. Those allegations had swept through right-wing media – but by the time Hannity mentioned them on his radio show, Georgia election officials had already debunked the claim, stating that the video showed “normal ballot processing.”

Sean Hannity hosts Brad Carver and Matt Towery

Audio file

Citation From the December 4, 2020, edition of Premiere's The Sean Hannity Show

“Is that a usual practice in the state of Georgia, Brad Carver, to be putting ballots in suitcases and then pulling them out from under the table after observers are asked to leave?” Hannity nonetheless asked.

“No, it's certainly not,” Carver replied, ominously adding that not only Republican poll watchers but also a Fox 5 reporter had been “asked to leave at that time.” He went on to add, “I can’t believe that something like this would happen.”

Carver went on to raise another election fraud conspiracy theory.

“We now have, with affidavits of a good friend of mine, Suzi Voyles, from Fulton County, 20-year poll worker, that there were pristine ballots that were uncreased, that had, had looked like there were machine-marked on different quality paper that were included in those absentee ballots,” he said.

The office of Georgia’s secretary of state reviewed these allegations and found no evidence of fraudulent or counterfeit ballots, while casting doubt on the veracity of Voyles’ statements. The Associated Press reported of the probe in October 2021:

Investigators spoke with Susan Voyles, an auditor during the hand count. She said she saw a batch of “pristine” absentee ballots that appeared to have been marked by a computer rather than by hand and weren’t creased as they would have been if they had been put in envelopes.

Investigators examined the ballots in the batches and box identified by Voyles, but all had been creased and none appeared to have been marked by a computer. Voyles then told investigators she may have been mistaken and gave them another box number. Investigators determined the box-batch combination she cited didn’t exist.

Voyles told investigators she reported the suspicious-looking absentee ballots to a county election official at the time, but no officials recalled speaking to her about suspicious-looking ballots.

Ultimately, officials conducted three separate audits of Georgia's 2020 election results, none of which found evidence of widespread voter fraud.