A judge this week delayed a review of ballots in Fulton county for possible fraud that was set to take place on Friday.
Why? Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero postponed the review of the 147,000 of Fulton County’s absentee ballots after Fulton County, the Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections, and the Fulton County Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts all filed motions to dismiss.
The judge says that the defendants have to present their case before the review can take place. The judge proposed a hearing on the motions for June 21.
The defendants who filed motions to dismiss argue that the lawsuit was improperly served to them.
They claim that they should not have been on the receiving end of the lawsuit, that they are shielded by sovereign immunity, that plaintiffs did not state a claim that entitled them to court action and that plaintiffs have not complied with election contest requirements.
What they’re saying: “It seems like a desperation move. The silver lining is that we now have more time to perfect the changes we had to make in our inspection plan,” said Garland Favorito, the primary plaintiff of the group VoterGA, according to The Epoch Times.
How we got here: Last week, Amero granted a motion that asked absentee ballots for the 2020 election to be unsealed and examined for possible fraud. The decision came after the group sought access to the ballows through the state’s open records request statutes.
Amero said plaintiffs “shall only be permitted to inspect and scan said ballots [the Nov. 3, 2020, general election absentee ballots] in accordance with protocols and practices that will be set forth by further order of the court.”
The judge clarified that plaintiffs and their experts could only examine copies of the ballots and not the originals, which will remain in the possession of Fulton election officials.
“The petitioners, again, shall only be permitted to inspect and scan the ballots in accordance with protocols and practices that will be set forth by further order of the court,” the judge highlighted. “I have no inclination to release these ballots to anyone other than the clerk in the county.”
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) expressed support for the judge’s decision, saying that it’s a nod to transparency in the state. He was not in favor of letting plaintiffs get access to the ballots.
“Fulton County has a long-standing history of election mismanagement that has understandably weakened voters’ faith in its system. Allowing this audit provides another layer of transparency and citizen engagement,” Raffensperger said in a statement.
Worth noting: The review of ballots will not change the outcome of the election but plaintiffs claim that it would help them understand what they described as unusual and possibly malicious activity at one of the ballot-counting sites in Atlanta, the State Farm Arena.
Georgia election officials have been adamant that no illegal activities happened at the arena.
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