By KATE BRUMBACK, Related Press
ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia choose has dismissed a lawsuit filed by former U.S. Sen. David Perdue that alleged fraudulent or counterfeit ballots had been counted within the state’s most populous county throughout the 2020 normal election.
Perdue filed the lawsuit, together with a person voter, in December a number of days after he introduced that he could be difficult Gov. Brian Kemp within the Republican major. Amongst different issues, the swimsuit sought entry to look at absentee ballots, saying that might enable the petitioners to show that there had been fraud in Fulton County.
Investigators with the secretary of state’s workplace discovered no proof to help the fraud claims, however that hasn’t stopped former President Donald Trump, Perdue and others from persevering with to unfold them.
The swimsuit was just like one other filed by a gaggle of voters that was dismissed in October as a result of a choose discovered the group hadn’t alleged a “particularized harm” and subsequently didn’t have standing to sue. That ruling has been appealed.
Perdue and voter Elizabeth Grace Lennon argued that their state constitutional rights to equal safety and due course of have been violated. Perdue claims his particularized harm was that he was a candidate for reelection in November however failed to attain a majority, forcing him right into a runoff with Democrat Jon Ossoff that Perdue misplaced. Lennon says she sought to solid an in-person early vote in October 2020 however was advised somebody had already submitted a mail poll in her identify.
In an order dated Wednesday dismissing the lawsuit, Fulton County Superior Courtroom Choose Robert McBurney wrote that it “just isn’t actually about Perdue’s loss or Lennon’s private voting expertise.” Its core claims, he notes, are that a number of batches of absentee ballots had been scanned a number of instances and 1000’s of illegal counterfeit absentee ballots had been counted and authorized in Fulton County.
These are claims that had been repeatedly pushed within the aftermath of the 2020 election by individuals who allege that widespread fraud prompted the presidential election to be stolen from Trump. Perdue, who’s trailing Kemp in polls because the Might 24 Republican major grows close to, has made claims of a “stolen and rigged” election a central pillar of his marketing campaign and regularly talks concerning the lawsuit whereas campaigning.
The lawsuit asks the choose to declare that county officers violated the petitioners’ equal safety and due course of rights, however such a declaration requires that they reveal that if the court docket doesn’t act, their pursuits shall be harmed sooner or later, McBurney wrote. As a substitute, they requested him to make a declaration about one thing that had already occurred up to now, and the court docket can’t do this, he wrote.
The lawsuit additionally asks the choose to difficulty a collection of orders that might empower the petitioners’ consultants to “intrude upon the sealed poll supplies of tens of 1000’s of Fulton County voters, hunt for speculative voter fraud or error, after which decide for themselves what the ‘precise’ vote rely ought to have been within the Election,” McBurney wrote.
“This quixotic journey won’t happen,” he added.
Perdue harshly criticized the ruling saying it was “one other instance of how the institution continues to cowl up what occurred in 2020, and we are going to vigorously enchantment the choice.”
The lawsuit “excoriates” county officers for “having ‘negligently, willfully, wantonly, outwardly, maliciously or corruptly and unapologetically acted with malfeasance’ thereby inflicting electors in Fulton County to expertise ‘disenfranchisement, dilution, debasement, and corruption of their vote within the Normal Election,’” but it surely doesn’t search a treatment for the alleged violations of the petitioners’ rights, McBurney wrote.
The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the court docket is unable to supply and with out such a declaration, the petitioners’ requests “are left supported solely by bitter grapes which make a wine this Courtroom won’t serve,” McBurney wrote.
Related Press author Jeff Amy contributed to this report.
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