Tags: georgia | judge | absentee ballots | unsealed | fraud

Georgia Judge Indicates He May Unseal Absentee Ballots for Fraud Probe

worker counts absentee ballots
A Fulton county worker continues to count absentee ballots at State Farm Arena on November 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 March 2021 08:07 AM

A judge in Georgia is signaling he may unseal Fulton County absentee ballots so a government watchdog investigation into claims of voting fraud in the November election can proceed.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the case stems from a lawsuit alleging fraudulent ballots were cast and other irregularities took place as workers tabulated ballots on election night in Fulton County. The newspaper noted the claims had already been investigated by the Georgia secretary of state’s office and dismissed.

However, Henry County Superior County Judge Brian Amero, who is presiding over the case, said Monday he’s inclined to order the ballots unsealed to permit a review by experts hired by Garland Favorito, a voting-integrity advocate, who filed the lawsuit.

"We want to do this in such a way that dispels rumors and disinformation and sheds light," Amero said at a hearing. "The devil’s in the details."

Favorito alleges absentee ballots in Fulton County may have been fabricated by county workers and some ballots counted multiple times on election night. His lawsuit cites video of the count and includes sworn statements from some who were present.

The Journal-Constitution said the observers were suspicious of ballots that were printed on a different stock of paper than regular ballots and others appearing to have been printed instead of marked by ink in a voter’s hand.

Amero also discussed a protective order prohibiting Favorito’s experts from revealing their work without permission from the court. If Amero does follow through with permitting the review, a special master would be appointed to oversee it. A review of the ballots could begin in late April, the newspaper said.

But the judge cautioned: "I can’t sign an order until such time as I’m satisfied that the manner and method (of review) proposed by the petitioners is reasonable."

In December, a Georgia state investigator denied an allegation by Rudy Giuliani, the lawyer for then-President Donald Trump,  that video evidence proved election workers at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta counted "mystery" ballots that were hidden under a table after poll watchers left.

"Our investigation and review of the entire security footage revealed that there were no mystery ballots that were brought in from an unknown location and hidden under tables as has been reported by some," chief investigator for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office, Frances Watson, swore in an affidavit filed in federal court. 

Watson noted his investigation was started after complaints on Election Day that Fulton County staff told clerks, media, and public observers to vacate the arena due to a water leak, while workers kept counting ballots.

The leak turned out to be a urinal that overflowed earlier that day, Watson said. He claimed that no one asked media or observers to leave.

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Politics
A judge in Georgia is signaling he may unseal Fulton County absentee ballots so a government watchdog investigation into claims of voting fraud in the November election can proceed. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported...
georgia, judge, absentee ballots, unsealed, fraud
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2021-07-16
Tuesday, 16 March 2021 08:07 AM
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