Georgia Voters’ Rights on the Docket as Judge Grapples with Fulton County Election Controversy: No Decision Yet

 

McDONOUGH, Georgia — The lawsuit alleging voting shenanigans in Fulton County during last year’s presidential election continued Monday as Chief Judge Brian Amero heard opposing attorneys spar over voters’ rights and whom to hold accountable for violating those rights.

Amero presides over the case out of Henry County.

Voters want the right to investigate Fulton County’s absentee ballots and, if they exist, track down possible counterfeits.

VOTER GA spokesman Garland Favorito told The Georgia Star News before Monday’s hearing that Amero was to hear several motions. In one motion, members of the Fulton County Board of Elections asked to remove themselves from the case. In another, county officials asked for the same thing for themselves. Amero will have to determine which one of the two entities the law will recognize as the appropriate defendant.

“They [the two Fulton County entities] are sort of finger-pointing at each other, and neither one wants to take responsibility for what happens. It all goes down to Georgia’s sovereign immunity,” Favorito said.

Sovereign immunity is a constitutional provision that exists in every state and says citizens cannot sue the state except under certain enumerated circumstances, said attorney Don Samuel, who represents the Fulton County Board of Elections. Georgia voters, according to law.com, recently approved a measure that prevents state officials from using sovereign immunity to shield the state from people who file lawsuits seeking to have a law declared unconstitutional.

Because of these changes, Favorito described this as “a guinea pig case.”

“We will actually figure out who is actually going to be the party who is accountable for what happened on November 3 and November 4,” Favorito said.

Attorney Bob Cheeley, meanwhile, spoke on behalf of voters who supported former U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump lost Georgia’s electoral votes and the general election to the current U.S. President Joe Biden. Cheeley said those voters have legal standing to take the matter to court. He also warned that Fulton County officials “want to sweep aside the rights of the petitioners who want to know what happened in this last election with respect to their votes.”

Cheeley also cited a recent Just the News investigative report that found Fulton County had more election integrity problems during last year’s U.S. presidential elections than were previously known. Reporters John Solomon and Daniel Payne cited a 29-page memo they obtained that documented double counting of votes, insecure storage, threats, and massive chain of custody irregularities. The memo, Solomon and Payne wrote, “provides a stunning roadmap for an independent investigation of the vote count in Fulton County, such as the one a state judge recently approved to be led by attorney Bob Cheeley.”

According to Just the News, Carter Jones warned about these problems in a memo that his firm Seven Hill Strategies delivered to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger shortly after last year’s election. Solomon and Payne went on to report that Jones witnessed these events in Atlanta-area election centers. Jones’ memo, the two reporters said, reads “like a minute-by-minute diary, [and] cited a litany of high-risk problems such as the double-counting of votes, insecure storage of ballots, possible violations of voter privacy, the mysterious removal of election materials at a vote collection warehouse, and the suspicious movement of ‘too many’ ballots on Election Day.”

Amero did not deliver an immediate ruling.

Raffensperger announced last week that his office will thoroughly investigate Fulton County’s inability to produce the critical chain of custody documents for absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes during the November 3, 2020 election. Raffensperger made his announcement via Twitter, following a lead story in The Star News. According to the story, a Fulton County election official admitted chain of custody documents are missing for absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in the 2020 election.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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