ATLANTA (AP) — Days after announcing his candidacy for governor, Republican David Perdue further embraced debunked claims of electoral fraud in Georgia’s 2020 presidential race by joining a lawsuit seeking to prove he and former President Donald TrumpWe were tricked out of winning election victories.
The suit claims that fraudulent or counterfeit ballots were counted in Fulton County, the state’s most populous jurisdiction, although investigators rebutted the same claims previously.
Perdue’s lawsuit amplifies claims that the former senator has made this week since announcing a challenge to incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp was on Monday. Perdue told Axios and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he wouldn’t have certified Georgia’s 2020 results if he had been governor then, unlike Kemp.
Trump continues to attack Kemp’s inability to make the election win more palatable. After inviting Perdue to run, Trump endorsed Perdue on Monday, saying Kemp has been “very weak” on “election integrity.”
The suit could further Perdue’s effort to sew up the votes of Trump backers who believe the election was stolen as he tries to come back from his Senate election loss, saying that’s how he’ll unify the Republican PartyKemp was defeated in the primary.
His position that Georgia’s 2020 election was wrongly decided isn’t new. He demanded that Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger resign, while the votes are still being counted for 2020. saying he “failed to deliver honest and transparent elections,”He said that he would have done the same if he was in the U.S. Senate on Jan. 6, he would have voted against accepting Georgia’s electoral votes. But until now he hadn’t sued.
“David Perdue is so concerned about election fraud that he waited a year to file a lawsuit that conveniently coincided with his disastrous campaign launch,” said Kemp spokesperson Cody Hall. “Keep in mind that lawsuit after lawsuit regarding the 2020 election was dismissed in part because Perdue declined to be listed as a plaintiff.”
Fulton County voter Elizabeth Grace Lennon is seeking Perdue’s assistance to review paper ballots, as well as other materials used in Fulton County elections in the state court suit. Perdue claims that the examinations will establish the fraud. But, this suit is not seeking to reverse the election results in Georgia where 16 electoral votes were given to Democratic President Joe Biden.
“I want to use my position and legal standing to shine light on what I know were serious violations of Georgia law in the Fulton absentee ballot tabulation,” Perdue said in a statement released by lawyers. “We are asking a judge to consider the evidence after our forensic examination of the absentee ballots is completed and hold those persons responsible who engaged in this wrongful conduct.”
Spokespersons for Fulton County and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
This lawsuit is basically a repetition of the one before it. Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero dismissed in October after he ruled the plaintiffs, including longtime Georgia election systems critic Garland Favorito, hadn’t alleged a “particularized injury” and thus didn’t have standing to sue. Favorito, along with other plaintiffs, appeal the dismissal.
According to the new plaintiffs who requested that Amero be assigned the suit, they can pursue state rights for equal protection and due procedure. Perdue claims the specific injury he suffered was because he tried to run for reelection in November. However, he failed to win a majority and was forced into a runoff between Perdue and Jon Ossoff. Perdue was defeated. Lennon claims she tried to vote early in person in October 2020, but that someone else had sent a postal ballot.
Investigators with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office submitted a report to Amero just before he dismissed the case, saying they found no evidence of fraudulent ballots.
“Based upon the witness statements and examination of approximately 1,000 absentee ballots and ballot images, the Secretary’s investigators have not uncovered any absentee ballots that match the descriptions given … or otherwise appear to be fraudulent or counterfeit,” the legal brief said.
The new lawsuit recounts claims that the investigators debunked, including claims by Susan Voyles and three other auditors during a hand recount, that they saw “pristine” absentee ballots that appeared to have been marked by a computer and weren’t creased as they would have been if they had been put in envelopes. The investigators said they couldn’t find any such ballots.
This suit also revives the debunked claim that election officials deliberately lied about ending counting on election night. It claims that observers had left once that was done. election workers pulled out “suitcases” of ballotsAnd counted multiple votes, effectively running up the Democrats score.
According to Secretary of state investigators, they could not prove that it had occurred. However, video evidence showed that these suitcases were regular ballot boxes, and were taken out after election workers told them to count. Workers told investigators that their ballot scanners had jammed, forcing workers to attempt multiple scans. Video also showed workers confirming paper jams in scanner activity logs.
The investigation concluded that no evidence was available to support allegations by the plaintiff that election workers had scanned and counted false ballots which were hidden underneath tables in the arena. These are the brief notes of former U.S. Attorney BJay Pak reached the same conclusionBased on FBI statements and independent reviews of evidence.
Seth Bringman, a spokesperson for Abrams said that “while David Perdue conducts the conspiracy choir, Stacey will be focused on Georgians.”
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