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Tucker Carlson issues on-air apology over Georgia voter claims

Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonThe Memo: Trump election loss roils right More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Ex-AG Holder urges GOP to speak against Trump efforts to 'subvert' election results MORE on Friday apologized to viewers after a local Georgia news outlet pointed out that he had made a false claim about a dead individual illegally voting in the state. 

On a Thursday evening segment of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the host claimed that someone had cast a ballot on behalf of James Blalock of Covington, Ga., who died in 2006. 

Blalock, a World War II veteran, had been used by the Trump campaign this week as an example of a dead individual who illegally voted in Georgia, a state news outlets officially called for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Obama: Republican Party members believe 'white males are victims' MORE on Friday. 

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"No one quite embodies that story like James Blalock of Covington, Ga. Mr. Blalock was a mailman for 33 years, until he passed away in 2006," Carlson said in his Thursday broadcast. "Fourteen years later, according to state records, he was still mailing things. James Blalock cast a ballot in last week's election."

However, Newton County officials said in a statement Thursday that Blalock did not vote and that the record found by the Trump campaign referred to a vote cast by Blalock’s widow, registered under his name as "Mrs. James E. Blalock, Jr."

“Her voter registration was signed as Mrs. James E. Blalock, Jr. and that is exactly how she signed her name when she voted in the Nov. 3 general election,” read the statement shared on Facebook. 

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11Alive, NBC’s Atlanta affiliate station, called out Carlson for repeating the claim after it was disputed by county officials. The outlet also confirmed the news with the widow herself, Agnes Blalock. 

“He’s not voting. He didn’t vote,” Agnes Blalock told 11Alive. “It was me.”

During his show Friday, Carlson apologized to viewers and issued a correction. 

"We've got some good news tonight and an apology," he said. "One of the people who voted in last week's election isn't dead. James Blalock is still dead. We told you about him, but it was his wife who voted. She voted as Mrs. James Blalock. It's old-fashioned, and we missed it."

Carlson then added that "a whole bunch of dead people did vote" but that "James Blalock was not among them."

"It was Mrs. James Blalock, so apologies for that, and of course we're always going to correct when we're wrong, and we were," he said. 

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Reporters at 11Alive also reported that Linda Kesler, whom the Trump campaign accused of voting in Georgia despite dying in 2003, did not actually vote. This was confirmed by the Jackson County Board of Elections. 

“Linda Kesler of Nicholson was marked deceased in 2003 and did not vote. Lynda Kesler who has a different address, birthday, and zip who is entitled to vote—did vote,” the board of elections told 11Alive. 

While The Associated Press and other major news outlets declared Biden the winner of the 2020 election last week, Trump has since refused to concede, repeatedly claiming that there were widespread cases of voter fraud and irregularities as part of a Democratic attempt to steal the election from him. 

His campaign has launched lawsuits challenging the results of the race in Georgia as well as Michigan and Pennsylvania and has asked for a recount in Wisconsin. 

News outlets have projected Biden as the winner of each of those states, and the voter fraud claims have since been disrupted by election expert groups, local election officials and several courts.