While the judge dismissed the lawsuit on technical grounds, he only made his ruling after reviewing the plaintiffs’ evidence.
A state judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Trump supporters in Georgia who demanded an investigation into absentee ballots cast in last year’s presidential election.
According to Reuters, the decision came just a day after Georgia officials told the court they were unable to find any counterfeit ballots.
Superior Court Judge Brian Amero’s ruling effectively ends the last remaining legal challenge to the state’s election results, and will prevent an outside review of the more than 147,000 absentee ballots submitted in Fulton County. Amero further found that the plaintiffs had filed to demonstrate that the supposed fraud affected them in a “personal and individual way,” depriving them of any basis upon which to continue their claim.
Despite the technical aspect of Amero’s ruling, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution observes that the judge reviewed the evidence before dismissing the case.
Investigators, including Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, said they were unable to locate any suspicious ballots. The plaintiffs had, for instance, said they had seen or heard of “pristine” ballots with “perfectly” filled-in ovals and no creases.
But Raffensperger said his team was unable to locate any such ballots, and that all of the batches he checked appeared authentic.
“While no election is perfect, there was no widespread voter fraud or illegal voting large enough to overturn the election,” Raffensperger said on Wednesday. “The results were, as we reported, that President Trump came up short in the state of Georgia.”
Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts praised the investigation and court ruling, saying the lawsuit’s dismissal is a “big win for democracy.”
“This lawsuit was the result of the ‘big lie,’ which is nothing more than a meritless conspiracy theory being spread by people who simply cannot accept their side lost,” Pitts said. “Its defeat here today should echo throughout the nation.”
However, lead plaintiff Garland Favorito said that the ballots should still be checked, albeit “in-depth.”
“All citizens of Georgia have a right to know whether or not counterfeit ballots were injected into the Fulton County election results,” Favorito said. “It is not adequate for any organization to secretly tell us there are no counterfeit ballots and refuse to let the public inspect them.”
Favoiro, adds The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, plans to appeal the ruling.