Reprinted with permission from American Independent
A county court judge in Georgia on Friday agreed to let a group of election conspiracy theorists examine 145,000 absentee ballots cast in Fulton County in the 2020 general election, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, marking the latest attempt to search for voter fraud that multiple recounts and audits have already determined did not exist.
Georgia has already had three recounts of ballots in the state, which did not find discrepancies and cemented the fact that Joe Biden won by 11,779 votes.
The group of nine plaintiffs who sued to force the audit — including a self-proclaimed elections advocate named Garland Favorito — made wild and baseless allegations of voter fraud in Georgia's presidential election, and they want to prove it with another review of ballots.
During a hearing, Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero said that the ballots would need to remain in the custody of Fulton County election officials.
This would presumably avoid the disaster that is currently taking place in Arizona, where a firm owned by a Donald Trump-supporting election conspiracy theorist is running a shoddy and scandal-plagued audit of the state's presidential results.
Election experts say the Arizona audit is not following proper protocol, with Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs saying the audit compromised voting equipment that now must be replaced, which could cost millions of dollars.
The Department of Justice raised concerns that the entire Arizona audit may be in violation of election law, which says that ballots must remain in custody of election officials for a certain period after an election.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Georgia's audit will have election officials scan the absentee ballots so the plaintiffs can examine them.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a Trump ally who has lied about voter fraud and was part of the "stop the steal" effort that helped incite the insurrection by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, welcomed the news of the Georgia audit.
"Great news!" Greene tweeted after the judge's ruling. "The taxpayers pay for the ballots and they have every right to audit the elections."
Trump has also cheered on audits, thinking they will vindicate his voter fraud lies. He's made numerous comments about the Arizona audit, which one Arizona Republican official called "unhinged."
This all comes after Trump unsuccessfully tried to steal the Georgia election.
Trump pressured Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" the exact number of ballots Trump needed to declare him the winner of the state over Joe Biden. Raffensperger refused, and has stood by his assertion that the Georgia election was well run and that the results are accurate.
Voting rights groups are already condemning Georgia's new audit.
"To be clear: The latest Big Lie news out of Georgia is a sideshow, not an audit," Fair Fight Action, the voting rights group launched by Stacey Abrams, tweeted. "Media must not give it credibility through false word choices. Like Maricopa County's discredited 'audit' this is and will be a sham."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.