The most recent of the three lawsuits filed by President Trump’s legal team and supporters opposing Georgia’s Election Results based on allegations of voter fraud has been dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Batten.
Photo: President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington.
Photo Credit: Evan Vucci / AP
The Center Square [By Nyamekye Daniel]-
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Batten dismissed a lawsuit Monday aimed at striking down Georgia’s election results and appointing new presidential electors.
It is one of three lawsuits filed by President Donald Trump’s legal team and his supporters opposing Georgia’s election results based on allegations of voter fraud.
The case, which hung on allegations that the state’s voting devices are susceptible to fraud, should have been filed when the state signed off on the new voting system earlier this year and the outcome should be determined by a state court instead of a federal court, Batten said.
“In their complaint, the plaintiffs essentially asked the court for perhaps the most extraordinary relief ever sought in any federal court in connection with an election,” Batten said. “They want this court to substitute its judgment for that of 2.5 million Georgia voters who voted for Joe Biden, and this I am unwilling to do.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday the state plans to re-certify the Election Day results again for presumptive President-elect Joe Biden after a third count of the votes. Once the election is certified by the secretary of state and Gov. Brian Kemp, it would be up to the presidential electors to cast the final vote for the winning candidate if the courts do not intervene. A vote by the electors is scheduled for Dec. 14.
“We have now counted legally cast ballots, three times, and the results remained unchanged,” Raffensperger said.
After a request from Trump’s campaign, county election workers started a second recount of the 5 million votes in the presidential race on Nov. 24, less than a week after the state completed a hand recount. Initial election results showed Biden with a 14,111 vote lead over Trump. After the hand recount and the discovery of more than 5,000 votes, the margin narrowed to 12,000 votes with Biden still in the lead.
Trump’s legal team also pointed to surveillance footage that shows election workers in Fulton County pulling bins of ballots from under a table on Election Day. They claimed the workers counted the ballots after the media and Republican observers were asked to leave.
Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting implementation manager, continued to refute the claims of misconduct during a news conference Monday. Sterling said the workers were following the “normal process.”
“And what’s really frustrating is the president’s attorneys had the same videotape,” Sterling said. “They saw the exact same things the rest of us could see, and they chose to mislead state senators and the public about what was on that video.”
On Saturday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected attorney Lin Wood’s petition to overturn the results based on claims absentee ballot signatures didn’t match signatures on file, among other things.
Sterling said Monday that Raffensperger and Kemp plan to deploy Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) handwriting experts to review absentee ballots signatures in specific counties where claims were made. Raffensperger’s office and the GBI are currently investigating about 250 claims related to the Nov. 3 election. Still, Raffensperger said the “debunked claims of a stolen election is hurting” the state.
Trump on Monday continued to publicly pressure Kemp to review ballot signatures and call a special session to select new presidential electors. Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan rejected the request Sunday night.
“State law is clear: the legislature could only direct an alternative method for choosing presidential electors if the election was not able to be held on the date set by federal law. In the 1960s, the General Assembly decided that Georgia’s presidential electors will be determined by the winner of the state’s popular vote,” Kemp and Duncan said in a joint statement. “Any attempt by the legislature to retroactively change that process for the Nov. 3 election would be unconstitutional and immediately enjoined by the courts, resulting in a long legal dispute and no short-term resolution.”