GPB Remote Media
Judge dismisses VoterGA's Fulton County ballot inspection lawsuit
A Henry County judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to inspect Fulton County's absentee votes for counterfeits after state officials reported an investigation found no evidence to support the claims.
Judge Brian Amero wrote in an order Wednesday that the plaintiffs, including Garland Favorito of the group VoterGA, lacked standing and also failed to allege a particularized injury in their lawsuit that claimed fake ballots were counted in Fulton's totals.
The dismissal is the latest in almost a year of unsuccessful lawsuits that have failed to overturn or alter election results in Georgia after President Joe Biden narrowly defeated former President Donald Trump by about 12,000 votes. Multiple investigations by state and local officials have also found little evidence to support conspiracies and claims about how the votes were counted, though isolated instances of misconduct have been reported and referred to appropriate authorities.
Amero granted the motion to dismiss filed by Fulton's three Democratic election board members and also dismissed the two Republican members, who did not object to an inspection of the thrice-counted ballots.
The swift decision by Amero comes hours after the Secretary of State's office filed a brief detailing investigations into the core claims of the suit.
"Based upon interviews with the foregoing witnesses, as well as other witnesses who were interviewed during the course of the investigation, and in the inspection of approximately 1,000 absentee ballots and ballot images, the Secretary's investigators have been unable to substantiate the allegations that fraudulent or counterfeit ballots were counted," the filing read.
Investigators looked into claims made by Suzi Voyles, who worked the county's risk-limiting audit and claimed to see a batch of "pristine" ballots that looked suspicious. Voyles is now running for Congress as a Republican in the 6th Congressional District.
After interviewing Voyles two separate times, investigators checked several batches of absentee ballots that she claimed were marked by computer instead of by hand. But they found no irregularities or any ballots that appeared to be counterfeits.
The court filing Tuesday also found no evidence to corroborate claims that workers at State Farm Arena counted fraudulent ballots that were hidden under a table or that they scanned the ballots multiple times, a popular conspiracy theory debunked months ago by state and local officials.
In May, Amero granted a motion to unseal Fulton's absentee ballots, leading supporters of the lawsuit to claim the potential inspection was an "audit" of the votes, part of a nationwide call over the last 11 months to perform so-called "audits" of certified vote totals that show former President Donald Trump lost to President Joe Biden.