Georgia Judge Rules Absentee Ballots In Fulton County ‘Be Unsealed And Examined For Possible Fraud’
In a Friday decision, a judge in Georgia unsealed about 145,000 absentee ballots from the November election for examination.
According to Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero, the ballots must stay with Fulton County election officials after the investigation, and the findings of the investigation cannot influence the outcome of the November primary.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the plaintiffs in the case agreed the conditions, claiming that the investigation is indeed essential despite the controversy surrounding Fulton County election officials last year.
“Friday’s decision came in a lawsuit filed by nine plaintiffs, including Garland Favorito, a Fulton county resident and self-styled election watchdog,” the Journal-Constitution reported.
“It’s one of more than 30 Georgia lawsuits stemming from the November presidential election and the January runoff for U.S. Senate. Some of the lawsuits are still winding their way through the courts,” it also wrote.
Former Senator Kelly Loeffler, who lost a runoff election in January and now heads the voter registration organization Greater Georgia Action, praised the judge’s decision in a statement:
“Voter confidence in our election system is the bedrock of our republic. Unfortunately, inconsistencies in Fulton County’s November 2020 absentee ballots cast serious doubt on voters’ faith in our elections. An independent investigation even characterized Fulton County’s absentee ballot handling as ‘generally bad management.’ While there is a dire need to investigate a number of other well-documented issues, we must also inspect Fulton County’s absentee ballots to reassure Georgians that their voices are heard and their votes are counted. The integrity of future elections is critical, and Judge Amero’s decision is a helpful step in restoring transparency, accountability, and voter confidence. We look forward to the findings and their role in promoting transparency and rebuilding faith in our elections,” Loeffler’s statement read.
Chairman of the Fulton County Commission, Robb Pitts, blasted Amero’s decision, noting that the Fulton County election results have been verified several times by recounts since November.
“It is outrageous that Fulton County continues to be a target of those who cannot accept the results from last year’s election. The votes have been counted multiple times, including a hand recount, and no evidence of fraud has been found.” Pitts told the Journal-Constitution.
“The fact remains that Fulton County safely and securely carried out an election in the midst of a public health crisis,” he also said.
Following the November election, suspicions that county election officials had taken out thousands of concealed ballots to count after sending GOP election observers home sparked social media’s attention.
The dispute, according to state investigators, arose from a confusion between election officials and GOP observers.
Fulton County’s election efforts were clouded by several other problems, including counting irregularities and other crashes, prompting Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to reprimand the county.
The Fulton County elections board voted in February to terminate election director Rick Barron due to a string of allegations. The county Board of Commissioners rejected the board’s ruling, enabling Barron to hold his job.
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