Perdue voter fraud lawsuit dismissed by judge
ATLANTA (AP) — A judge in Georgia has dismissed a lawsuit Filed by former US Senator David Perdue alleging fraudulent or forged ballots were counted during the 2020 general election in the state’s most populous borough.
Perdue filed the lawsuit along with a single voter in December, days after he announced he would challenge Gov. Brian Kemp in the Republican primary. Among other things, the lawsuit sought access to review mail-in ballots, saying it would allow petitioners to prove there was fraud in Fulton County.
State Department investigators found no evidence to support the cheating allegations, but that hasn’t stopped former President Donald Trump, Perdue and others from further spreading them.
The lawsuit was similar to another filed by a group of voters that was dismissed in October because a judge found the group had not claimed “special infringement” and therefore had no standing to sue. An appeal has been lodged against this judgment.
Perdue and constituent Elizabeth Grace Lennon argued that their constitutional rights to equal protection and due process had been violated. Perdue claims his particular injury was that he was a candidate for re-election in November but failed to secure a majority, forcing him into a runoff with Democrat Jon Ossoff, which Perdue lost. Lennon says she attempted to cast an in-person early vote in October 2020, but was told someone had already submitted an absentee ballot on her behalf.
In an order Wednesday dismissing the lawsuit, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney wrote that it “isn’t really about Perdue’s loss or Lennon’s personal voting experience.” His key allegations, he notes, are that multiple batches of mail-in ballots were multi-scanned and thousands of unlawfully counterfeit mail-in ballots in Fulton County were counted and certified.
Those are allegations repeatedly made after the 2020 election by people claiming that widespread fraud led to the presidential election being stolen from Trump. Perdue, who is trailing Kemp in polls as the May 24 Republican primary nears, has made claims of a “stolen and rigged” election a central pillar of his campaign and speaks frequently about the lawsuit during the campaign.
The lawsuit asks the judge to declare that county officials violated the petitioners’ equal protections and right to due process, but such a declaration requires them to show that their interests will be harmed in the future if the court fails to act , McBurney wrote. Instead, they asked him to make a statement about something that had already happened in the past, and the court couldn’t do that, he wrote.
The lawsuit also asks the judge to issue a series of orders that would authorize the petitioners’ experts to “break into the sealed ballots of tens of thousands of Fulton County voters, look for speculative voting fraud or error, and then determine for themselves.” what the ‘actual’ vote count should have taken place at the election,” McBurney wrote.
“This otherworldly journey will not take place,” he added.
Perdue slammed the verdict, saying it was “another example of how the establishment continues to cover up what happened in 2020 and we will vigorously appeal the decision.”
The lawsuit ‘convicts’ county officials of acting ‘negligently, willfully, willfully, outwardly, maliciously or corruptly and without apology of wrongdoing’, causing voters in Fulton County to experience ‘disenfranchisement, dilution, degradation and corruption of their vote in general elections'” , but it seeks no remedy for the alleged violations of the petitioners’ rights, McBurney wrote.
The lawsuit calls for an explanation that the court cannot provide, and without such an explanation, the petitioners’ requests are “supported only by sour grapes yielding a wine that this dish will not serve,” McBurney wrote.
Associated Press writer Jeff Amy contributed to this report.