A Georgia judge ruled Friday that 145,000 absentee ballots submitted in Fulton County in November’s general election can be unsealed.
“Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero made clear the ballots must remain in the custody of Fulton election officials,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“The details and timing of the review must still be determined. But the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the county want to scan and examine the ballots to determine whether they are legitimate,” the outlet added.
At a hearing in March, Amero said, “We want to do this in such a way that dispels rumors and disinformation and sheds light.”
The suit to gain access to the ballots was brought by Garland Favorito, a voting integrity advocate with VoterGA.
Favorito “says county workers likely fabricated ballots and counted some ballots multiple times on election night,” and the lawsuit cited a video of the counting and sworn statements from observers, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
State Farm Arena in Fulton County is the location poll watchers were told by election officials counting had stopped for the night, only for surveillance video to reveal it resumed in the overnight hours.
Biden carried Georgia by 11,779 votes, or 0.23 percent.
In November, Biden topped Trump 73 to 26 percent, 6 percent better than Clinton.
Biden also did significantly better than Clinton in raw votes, outpacing her by just over 84,000: 381,000 to Clinton’s 297,000 votes.
Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts rebuked Amero for allowing a ballot review to go forward.
“It is outrageous that Fulton County continues to be a target of those who cannot accept the results from last year’s election,” Pitts said, according to the Journal-Constitution.
“The votes have been counted multiple times, including a hand recount, and no evidence of fraud has been found,” the Democrat added. “The fact remains that Fulton County safely and securely carried out an election in the midst of a public health crisis. It’s a shame to see that the ‘Big Lie’ lives on and could cost the hardworking taxpayers of this county.”
Chair of the political action committee Greater Georgia and former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler also weighed in on Amero’s Friday ruling saying, “Voter confidence in our election system is the bedrock of our republic.”
“Unfortunately, inconsistencies in Fulton County’s November 2020 absentee ballots cast serious doubt on voters’ faith in our elections,” she continued.
“While there is a dire need to investigate a number of other well-documented issues, we must also inspect Fulton County’s absentee ballots to reassure Georgians that their voices are heard and their votes are counted.”