Judge authorizes self-proclaimed anti-fraud group to examine ballots in Georgia
A Georgian judge on Friday ordered Atlanta’s Fulton County to unveil more than 145,000 mail-in ballots in the November 2020 election, allowing self-proclaimed electoral integrity activists to assess the legitimacy of the ballots.
According to his order filed in Fulton County Superior Court, Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero, who is overseeing the case, ruled that Fulton County must open the ballots for petitioners can inspect and scan them, not just look at copies.
The ordinance paves the way for a second scrutiny of ballots in the United States by private groups who claim without evidence that widespread voter fraud in populated cities helped Joe Biden, a Democrat, unfairly defeat the president of the time, Donald Trump, a Republican.
Trump and his allies spent two months denying his electoral defeat. State and federal officials and several courts have rejected claims by the Trump campaign that the election was stolen from him. Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6 as Congress certified the results, resulting in five deaths.
Since then, Trump supporters have called for revisions to voting results in several states. The Arizona Republican-controlled State Senate has ordered an audit of approximately 2.1 million votes cast in Maricopa County, where nearly two-thirds of the state’s population reside.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something similar in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida, because it’s a way for these actors to raise money for the 2022 and 2024 elections,” said Aunna Dennis, Executive Director of the Georgia Common Cause Good Government Group.
The nine petitioners seeking to inspect and scan Fulton County mail-in ballots are led by Garland Favorito, a Fulton County voter who said in the petition last December that started the case that ‘ he had seen an “abnormal” increase in votes for Biden while observing the counting of the ballots in his county.
Favorito is the co-founder of a self-proclaimed election watch group called Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia, according to his Twitter profile.
“This counterfeit ballot conspiracy theory has been broadcast by ‘Big Lie’ supporters across the country and shot down every time,” Fulton County President Robb Pitts said in a statement on Friday. that Amero ordered the county to unseal the missing ballots. .
Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger previously asked the court to let petitioners see only the copies of the ballots, not inspect and scan the original ballots, according to an amicus brief which he filed in April.
In an apparent about-face on Friday, however, Raffensperger appeared to support Amero’s decision, writing in a Twitter post, without detailing the evidence, that Fulton County had long mismanaged its election, and that “allowing this audit provides another layer of transparency and citizen engagement. “
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