Former President Donald Trump targeted Georgia Democrats for seeking to block an audit of 147,000 absentee ballots in the state’s most populous county, arguing the review will show the “vote was corrupt.”
“Why are the Radical Left Democrats in Georgia fighting so hard that there not be a Forensic Audit of 150,000 absentee ballots in Fulton County?” Trump asked in a Friday statement on his website.
“There can be only one reason, and that is because they know the vote was corrupt and the audit will show it. Republicans must fight hard and win!” he added.
After ruling earlier this month the review of ballots sought by a group of Georgia voters could proceed, Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero, who is overseeing the case, canceled a meeting scheduled for last Friday to discuss the protocols that would be followed.
The move came after the county filed multiple motions to dismiss the case, which involves Fulton County, home to the state’s capital of Atlanta.
“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 Wednesday night and Thursday morning arguing the plaintiffs failed to properly serve them notice of the suit,” Georgia Public Broadcasting reported.
“The filings also allege plaintiffs sued the wrong people, the defendants are protected under sovereign immunity and that plaintiffs failed to state a claim that entitles them to court action.”
BREAKING: The Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections is attempting to STOP the inspection of ballots, approved last week.
There is absolutely no reason for this. Why are they fighting transparency? pic.twitter.com/Msnv5VOcr4
— Tea Party Patriots (@TPPatriots) May 27, 2021
At a May 21 hearing, Georgia Assistant Attorney General Charlene McGowan argued before Amero that there should not be an audit, but if there is one, it should be done by an independent group.
Amero did not seem convinced.
“The petitioners would be of the view that they are the ones to defend their own constitutional rights in this suit that they have filed,” the judge responded to that position.
“[W]hether they have the right to conduct these independent viewings, not a physical inspection, but an inspection nonetheless, a visual inspection, combined with an opportunity to have ballot images at resolution that allows them to pursue their claims, that seems to be something they have the authority and the right to do,” he further stated.
The suit to gain access to the ballots was brought originally by Garland Favorito, a voting integrity advocate with VoterGA and resident of Fulton County.
Others have joined in, including the Tea Party Patriots Foundation, which filed an amicus brief in the case.
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 where poll watchers were told by election officials that counting had stopped for the night, only for surveillance video to reveal it resumed later in the night.
Dr. Lisa Detter-Hoskin — a senior research scientist with the Georgia Institute of Technology, who testified for the plaintiffs at the May 21 hearing — said that in order to properly review the ballots, a minimum resolution of 600 dots per inch scan would be needed.
This resolution would allow the audit team to check for abnormalities, such as candidate selection ovals being filled in by machines rather than by hand, or mail-in absentee ballots having no folds, as some Fulton County election observers previously claimed in sworn affidavits.
At the conclusion of the May 21 hearing, Amero ruled that the plaintiff’s team would be able to both “inspect and scan absentee ballots.”
Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts told WAGA-TV following the decision, “Well, I’m actually stunned that this whole thing is a circus that won’t end, quite frankly.
“Fulton County, we’ve had a target on our back going back to 2020,” the Democrat added.
“No one has come forward with any credible evidence. In fact, after our 2020 elections, the secretary of state even applauded us for the great job that we’d done. So it’s just ridiculous that this witch hunt continues.”
Amero is looking to hold a hearing on Fulton County’s new motions on June 21.
After a report over the weekend by Newsmax correspondent Emerald Robinson that an alarm went off and a door was left open at the facility housing the Fulton County ballots over the weekend, Trump responded in an emailed statement Monday:
“Great work is being done in Georgia revealing the Election Fraud of the 2020 Presidential Election. But, we must not allow ANYONE to compromise these ballots by leaving the building unsecured, which was done late Friday.
“Republicans and Patriots must protect this site and the Absentee Ballots. The Left talks about election security but they do not practice what they preach because they are afraid of what might be found. Fulton County Leadership—do the right thing and protect these ballots. Our Country is at stake!”