A judge in Georgia on Thursday told parties in an election integrity case that a previously scheduled meeting at a ballot storage warehouse is canceled after officials filed a flurry of motions in the case.
Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero said Friday’s meeting is no longer in place because of the motions filed by Fulton County, the county’s Board of Registration and Elections, and the county’s clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts.
Amero said the motions must be heard before plaintiffs can gain access to the absentee ballots and scheduled a hearing on them on June 21.
County officials argued that the complaint filed by voters should be dismissed because the petitioners failed to serve, or even attempt to serve, the county. They also said Fulton County does not have final control over elections, that petitioners are not entitled to declaratory judgment, and that petitioners have not complied with election contest requirements.
Amero heard in a hearing last week that petitioners were not able to properly examine ballot images they’ve received because of their low resolution, 200 dots per inch (DPI). Amero granted the petitioners’ request to unseal the mailed ballots and said they could go to where they were stored in order to observe county workers create higher resolution images of the ballots.
Amero mentioned during the hearing that no parties had filed a motion to dismiss. That meant petitioners were able to get some discovery, he said.
Lawyers for the county in the hearing urged the judge not to grant access to the ballots.
Garland Favorito, the lead petitioner, did not pick up the phone or respond to an email on Thursday.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, earlier opposed letting petitioners get access to the ballots. He said he supported Amero’s ruling.
“From day one I have encouraged Georgians with concerns about the election in their counties to pursue those claims through legal avenues. Fulton County has a long standing history of election mismanagement that has understandably weakened voters’ faith in its system. Allowing this audit provides another layer of transparency and citizen engagement,” he told The Epoch Times via email.
Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts, a Democrat, criticized the attempt to examine the ballots.
“It is outrageous that Fulton County continues to be a target of those who cannot accept the results from last year’s election,” he told news outlets in a statement.