One of the final pending lawsuits filed by supporters of former President Donald Trump in Georgia shortly after the 2020 presidential election was dismissed Wednesday, likely bringing an end to hopes of an Arizona-style election audit in the state.
State Superior Court Judge Brian Amero ruled that the plaintiffs did not have grounds for the audit since they failed to provide any evidence to back up the need for one.
The suit was seeking a review of about 147,000 ballots cast in Fulton County, a reliably blue area that includes most of the city of Atlanta.
Amero’s decision comes a day after the Georgia secretary of state’s office ruled out one of the crucial claims behind the lawsuit—finding that the 1,000 ballots that were so “pristine” that they aroused Trump supporters’ suspicions were not counterfeits or fraudulent in any way.
The nine-plaintiff suit was filed in December of 2020.
“The results were, as we reported, that President Trump came up short in the state of Georgia,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
An audit in Georgia appeared to be moving forward in May, when Amero agreed to allow the Fulton County ballots to be reviewed. But a meeting to discuss the logistics of the audit was quickly called off after Fulton County officials brought motions to dismiss the suit.
Georgia was the site of a wave of failed lawsuits seeking to challenge the results of the 2020 election, filed after Trump insisted he did not lose the state. In reality, multiple recounts have affirmed President Joe Biden defeated Trump in Georgia by about 12,000 votes, making Biden the first Democrat to carry the state since Bill Clinton in 1992. This fact seemed to particularly irk Trump, who focused a large portion of his post-election attacks on Georgia, despite it being just one of five states he won in 2016 and failed to carry in 2020. Trump’s attacks after his loss repeatedly focused on Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, both Republicans. At one point, Trump was recorded on a phone call with Raffensperger, pleading with the secretary of state to “find” enough votes to overturn the election results in the state.
The results of Arizona’s audit were revealed late last month after more than five months were spent analyzing over 2 million Maricopa County ballots. The Republican-called audit concluded that Biden won Arizona by an even bigger margin than the state reported, though the audit had no effect on the long-certified election results.
Georgia ballot inspection case dismissed after no fraud found (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)