Judge dismisses ballot review case in Georgia
ATLANTA – A judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit alleging fraud in Georgia’s most populous county during the 2020 election. The suit sought a review of some 147,000 absentee ballots to see if any were illegitimate.
The lawsuit was originally filed in December and alleged evidence of fraudulent ballots and improper ballot counting in Fulton County. It was filed by nine Georgia voters and spearheaded by Garland Favorito, a longtime critic of Georgia’s election systems.
Henry County Superior Court Chief Judge Brian Amero’s order dismissing the case says the voters who brought the lawsuit “failed to allege a particularized injury” and therefore lacked the standing to claim that their state constitutional rights to equal protection and due process had been violated.
Amero also noted that Georgia’s secretary of state’s office had provided a “substantive and detailed response” to his request for an update on any investigations into allegations of fraudulent or counterfeit ballots in Fulton County.
Favorito expressed frustration after the ruling, saying his team had “prepared diligently to show the evidence of our allegations” at a hearing the judge had previously scheduled for Nov. 15.
“All citizens of Georgia have a right to know whether or not counterfeit ballots were injected into the Fulton Co. election results, how many were injected, where they came from and how we can prevent it from happening again in future elections,” Favorito wrote in an email. “It is not adequate for any organizations to secretly tell us there are no counterfeit ballots and refuse to let the public inspect them.”
Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robb Pitts celebrated the lawsuit’s dismissal.
“Today was a win for democracy,” he said in an emailed statement. “This lawsuit was the result of the Big Lie, which is nothing more than a conspiracy theory being spread by people who simply cannot accept that their side lost. Its defeat here today should echo throughout the nation.”
Former President Donald Trump and his allies harshly criticized top Republican elected officials in Georgia for not acting to overturn his narrow loss in a traditionally red state.
The ballot review effort in Fulton County was one of a number of similar reviews and audits that Trump supporters and others pursued, alleging fraud during the 2020 general election. State and federal election officials have repeatedly said there was no evidence of widespread fraud.
The lawsuit filed by Favorito and others relied heavily on sworn affidavits from several people who participated in a hand recount of the ballots. They said they saw absentee ballots that looked as if they had been marked by machine rather than by hand and had not been creased as they would have been to fit in an envelope.
It also included previously debunked allegations that election workers at State Farm Arena in Atlanta pulled “suitcases” of ballots from under a table after observers and members of the media left for the night and scanned the ballots multiple times.
The lawsuit did not seek to change Georgia’s election results, which were certified weeks after the election.