John and Melanie Franklin had their suspicions about Joe Biden being the true winner of the 2020 presidential election. A new political documentary that opened last weekend, however, left no doubt in their minds.

“Yes, it was stolen,” Melanie Franklin told Atlanta Civic Circle after viewing “2000 Mules,” conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza’s cinematic take on what he believes really happened to put Biden in the White House. 

“We knew most of it, but not the depth. I did not know it [ballot ‘harvesting’] was all over the U.S.,” said her husband, John Franklin, who found the film “shocking.” 

The Franklins drove 30 miles from their home in Luthersville to see the movie at the Cinemark Tinseltown 17 in Fayetteville.  

Robert Clarke

The only other person at the 6:15 Saturday night screening, Robert Clarke, went into “2000 Mules” as “an agnostic,” he said, borrowing the phrase from conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager who makes an appearance. But he came away believing the film’s claims of widespread illegal ballot collections could be plausible.

“They haven’t come to the absolute proof, but they have pointed in a direction that leads you to believe that their proposition is possible,” Clarke told Atlanta Civic Circle. The 72-year-old Brandon, Fla. resident was in town for a family funeral and decided to see the movie. 

The Cinemark Tinseltown 17, located in conservative-leaning Fayette County, was the only southside theater to show the movie and one of only four in metro Atlanta. Nearly 53% of Fayette voters cast their ballot for Trump in the 2020 presidential election. 

The movie relies on research from a conservative Texas nonprofit, True the Vote, to argue that thousands of people or “mules,” were paid by a national network of unnamed, Democratic-linked nonprofits to collect and deposit enough absentee ballots in dropboxes in key swing states, including Georgia, to put Biden in the White House.  

The film doesn’t claim the ballots themselves were fraudulent–just the manner in which they were delivered, which is known as ballot collecting or harvesting. It’s legal in Georgia for someone to deposit a family member’s absentee ballot in a dropbox and for caregivers of disabled voters to do the same.

Reminiscent of a made-for-TV crime drama, “2000 Mules” uses a combination of cellphone tracking data, surveillance videos of people putting ballots in dropboxes, and roundtable discussions among election-deniers, including True the Vote principals, to make the case for a vast conspiracy of election fraud. (It’s an ironic claim from D’Souza, who was convicted of campaign finance fraud in 2014 for making illegal contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign in the names of others.)

Georgia is prominently featured in the film. True the Vote claims to have used cellphone location data to identify 2000 people or “mules” nationally, including 242 in Atlanta, who averaged 38 trips apiece to a ballot dropbox and deposited five ballots per trip, while also visiting unidentified, Democratic-linked nonprofits.

If a cellphone went near a dropbox over 10 times, plus a nonprofit over five times from Oct. 1 to Election Day on Nov. 3, True the Vote assumed its owner was a “mule.” Overall, it claims 30,000 Georgia absentee ballots were collected in this way. 

News outlets have panned the movie, exposing multiple holes in its premise that a phalanx of people in a coordinated effort, akin to drug trafficking, upended the 2020 presidential election.

Last week, Georgia’s State Election Board dismissed several ballot-fraud claims, including one from True the Vote featured in the movie. It involved surveillance footage of a man in a white SUV depositing five absentee ballots into a Gwinnett County dropbox. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation found the man was legally delivering ballots cast by himself, his wife and children. 

Despite the media criticism, Clarke and the Franklins found the movie compelling. Clarke said the alleged ballot-harvesting activities “are putting the Republic in jeopardy.”  

“They’re not about protecting the individual and providing equal opportunity. They’re about destroying the Constitution,” he added. 

Seeing the numerous videos of people depositing absentee ballots in drop boxes has further undermined the Franklins’ confidence in the election process. “It’s obvious something happened on election night in Georgia,” Melanie Franklin said. “Trump was ahead in Georgia when we went to bed–and not when we woke up.”

The Franklins, both registered Republicans, said they’ve stopped trusting the mainstream media’s election coverage. “We quit watching the news,” Melanie Franklin said. “The news media is not where we are going to get that information.” Instead, they mostly rely on the internet. 

While the movie heightened all three moviegoers’ concerns about voting and elections, the Franklins plan to vote in Tuesday’s primary. “We like to vote on Election Day,” Melanie Franklin said.

“We like to go to the poll and see the ballot go in,” her husband explained. “The trust has definitely been broken. I hope it gets in the right hands.”

Even though they believe ballot fraud happened during the last election, the couple still feel it’s their duty to vote. “It’s the right thing to do,” Melanie Franklin said. “But do I feel confident in it? No.”  

“I’m not going to quit because someone else is cheating,” John Franklin added.

Meredith Hobbs contributed to this report.

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47 Comments

  1. D’Souza made a small contribution to a friend/politician and it was over the amount that is set. The opinion of the writer is biased. So how does this kind of biased journalism foster a better community? Seems it’s better for fostering hate.

    1. Reporting criminal activity betters the community. That way the community can be watchful for further activity from the guilty party, in this case convicted election felon D’Souza.
      Or are you OK with election crime as long as it’s done by Republicans?

  2. Sure the election was stolen, and it will be stolen again next election. Those free tracking phones being given to all illegals for “Tracking” ? Yea right ! Just wait , the vote by phone APP will be coming out before 2024 .

    1. The party that elected Sleepy Joe convinced tens of thousands of workers to keep quiet about this ballot harvesting racket?? You must think trump is a massive retard to have allowed this to happen.

  3. Smearing d’souzas name in here as u have is pretty shallow .. ur problem is is that he’s on to something u can’t really defend .. peculiar the lack of surveillance video available when they’re required to have a camera on them .. n they do have footage of people in the act so it’s pretty hard for u refute .. video of them takin a pic so they can get paid .. as told to them by the mules themselves .. lol u got no defense it’s all in the movie go see it yall!

    1. It’s ok. I didn’t want to be president anymore. I didn’t actually do anything, and it was interfering with my golfing. Plus I don’t have to go to church anymore. Win win

  4. Those who would reject such overwhelming evidence must be so hardened of heart and blinded by their presuppositions. Too bad that anyone would want to repress this search for truth and justice. Better to welcome the conversation than to remain in denial and close-mindedness against those of us who question this election.

    1. Use your brain for once. They proved none of their claims. Go outside, this is obviously to much for your simple head.

    2. Now that’s funny. It’s the people that realize the movie doesn’t stand up to rational scrutiny that are “in denial”. Right, got it.

  5. I really wish people would think for themselves. Only the presidential race would have ballot harvesting. If it was done then why not congressional races and Senete seats too. It doesn’t matter who the President is, the real power is which party controls the senate and house. If the democrats controlled both they would get their whole agenda passed even banning asualt weapons.

  6. First of all the cell phone tracking data is only accurate up to a 100 foot radius. Secondly they never even say who these so called non profits are and how and why they would they be involved in such scheme? Thirdly they even admit that the ballots that are dropped are not illegal in any way. And lastly the Washington Post has shown that their maps are all wrong. Some of the REAL drop boxes were blocks away from where they say they were in the movie.

    1. Dont use the Washington Post as a source. They have been caught lying about just about everything they have put out about Trump!

  7. Stalin: The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union said;
    “Doesn’t matter who voted. What matters is who counts the votes!”

    Seems some politicians and activists figured that out.

    Socrates hated Democracy. Letting any UN-educated person voting once or twice is idiocy!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLJBzhcSWTk

  8. The film is a crime against America. A slick video lie being marketed as the truth. One of the maps they show in the film is said to be Atlanta.. but it is actually MOSCOW! And another Map they claim to show Atlanta Area drop box locations is completely fictitious. Washinton Post pulled the real map and only a few of their “Drop Box Locations” actually coincide with the real maps. And even drop boxes that are close, are often off by hundreds of feet. And they claim their data is accurate to less than 24 inches. Don’t watch this film… It’s utter trash.

  9. Please tell me why I have not received my DVD. I ordered several days before release on 8th. This is my second request to send.

  10. Those who claim the movie is ‘false’, or a misappropriation of facts either did not see it or are generally, the same ‘sheeple’ who believed the Trump Russia Hoax that is now a known fact, without doubt, involved multiple goverment scoundrels in the FBI, CIA, and the DNC, including hilliary [Moeller Report and John Durham investigation]. There will be many more indictments if the current DOJ doesnt unconstitutionally shut down Durham’s ongoing investigation. So, ‘sheeple’, or democrats, continue your mental block against reason and facts, the Left (DNC) needs (useful idiots) you.

  11. The Democrats don’t care to find the truth they want to create history.look at the Jan 6 crap they hired Antifa to dress like Trump supporters and they broke into the Capitol yet Pelosi will not allow anyone to see the tapes because it will expose them Your right the Sheep refuse to look at facts, when the left is done with Sheep they will become deplorable because the left only cares about themselves and not the Sheep who believe the BS that’s fed by the Media

    1. Isn’t anyone concerned that Trump was completely wrong by illegally trying to keep himself in power. What if it was Joe Biden who loses the next election and he does exactly what Trump did because he believes the votes are fraudulent. Wouldn’t you be very upset he is trying to stay in office illegally.

  12. I guess I expected more. They don’t tell you names of the people or organizations even though they said they have them. They also hired actors to recreate what they say happened. All the round table talk was just them repeating what they “think is happening”. At the end they all say it’s such a perfect crime nobody is going to be caught. That just sounds like nonsense to me; like what’s the point of the movie then? I’m less convinced than I was. It’s been a year and a half.

  13. The amount of sheep who will believe any pro-trump argument is astounding. They question every single thing they hear in the media, yet believe with all their hearts every single flimsy piece of “evidence” that admitted felon makes. You would almost think being fooled by trump is their kink. Some type of perverse sexual fantasy.

    1. Agreed. These people should be asking why every piece of conspiracy about the election falls apart after a month and then every one moves right on to the next one. They keep lying to them and the trumpers keep skipping back, ready to take another beating

  14. Wow, any moron could poke holes in this movie without even trying. Sad how dumb this country has gotten

  15. They need to clear up the following. The fact that they didn’t in the movie should cause skepticism.
    1. Show all their data. I want to see how precise it is and the paths these so called “mules” took. I want them to prove their numbers. Some people have iPhones, Apple watches, and iPads. Are they counting those if it’s obviously the same person?
    2. The names of the organizations. If what they say is true, than they have no fear of getting sued. But since they are afraid, I am skeptical.
    3. How could an operation with tens of thousands of participants be so well hidden? No one has talked? And we’re to believe that this same organization elected Sleepy Joe?
    4. Why was trump, the smartest man in the world, so easy to out maneuver. All of this makes him look like a incompetent, lazy, imbecile who had no control over his government.
    5. Why do they talk about all this evidence but never show us the same person making multiple deliveries? We see a person dropping off more than 1 ballot, but they claim these people are coming multiple times. Where’s the proof? Why would you believe this claim without proof?

    This is called verification, people. Don’t be so easily manipulated. Do your due diligence. Lay the burden of proof on their shoulders. Even if you want it to be true, don’t just accept it as fact.

  16. That wouldn’t be hard to do. What they were doing is illegal. People doing illegal things usually don’t turn themselves in. However, a couple of them did not stay quiet.

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  18. Is there an interview with one of the actual mules? Surely someone should be proud of their success or else paid to reveal names and sources of providing thousands of fraudent ballots in hundreds of precincts!

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