Henry County Superior Court Chief Judge Brian Amero will allow for the inspection of nearly 150,000 absentee ballots in Fulton County, Georgia. While the judge dismissed Fulton County, its elections board, and the court clerk from the suit under ‘sovereign immunity’ — he added individual members of the county’s board of elections as respondents.
The judge’s ballot review, which was requested under ‘discovery’ rules, will also proceed. The judge’s ruling is a qualified win for the plaintiffs, who now have a chance to refile requests for the ballot inspection.
“The plaintiffs in the case, nine Georgia voters, scored a victory last month when Amero ordered scanned images of 147,000 absentee ballots to be unsealed,” the Washington Examiner reported. “But he placed the inspection, which would allow for high-resolution re-scans of ballots and an in-person review, on hold while considering the defendants’ motions to dismiss.”
“Superior Court Judge Brian Amero’s ruling jeopardizes the prospects for the ballot inspection to continue, though a plaintiff in the lawsuit said he believes it will soon move forward,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier reported.
The case brought by Garland Favorito hinges on ‘discovery’ to determine if Fulton County election workers, the defendants in the case, scanned absentee ballots multiple times through tabulators, as appeared to be the case with State Farm Arena’s CCTV video surveillance from election night.
“An attorney for the Fulton elections board said the ruling prevents the possibility for an in-person review of absentee ballots using high-powered microscopes in the Georgia World Congress Center, as sought by those who believe fraud resulted in Democrat Joe Biden’s 12,000-vote win over Republican Donald Trump,” the report continued.
“That litigation is finished,” said Don Samuel, a prominent Atlanta attorney hired by the Fulton elections board. “Is there going to be an audit? Not right now … There’s no discovery permitted. There’s no lawsuit pending anymore.”
This is not exactly the case, as the judge’s order makes clear. The claimant Garland Favorito argued that the ruling contained a victory.
“Favorito plans to submit a ballot inspection plan next week based on the judge’s order in May to unseal absentee ballots, allowing for high-resolution re-scans of ballots and an in-person review,” AJC noted.
“We just want Fulton to be held responsible,” Favorito said. “We could be moving forward any time now unless they try to stall again. Fulton may make a new desperation move to postpone it.”
VoterGA also reacted to the news:
“We are pleased that the court has ruled in our favor again for the fifth time,” VoterGA said. “The ruling substitutes Defendants by replacing currently named government organizations with individual board members we named originally in our lawsuit.”
“It also moots Don Samuels’ attempt to dismiss our case,” the statement continued. “This continues the string of victories we have including how we obtained the original protective order, conditional approval to inspect ballots, access to ballot images, and the order to unseal the ballots.” It was signed by Garland (Favorito).
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.