HENRY COUNTY, Ga – Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero will grant the plaintiffs access to ballots from the November 3, 2020 election in Fulton County with some limitations.
They will be able to inspect and scan the unsealed ballots but only according to protocols and practices set in place by the court.
Judge Amaro agreed that the plaintiffs should have access to 600 dpi (dots per inch) images. He was against a third party handling the ballots.
“The question that I have really is whether instructing the county to do that, requiring the petitioners to pay is sufficient,” Amero remarked.
All parties involved were told to meet where the ballots are being stored in Fulton County next Friday, May 28. Amaro specifically stated he only wanted council in attendance with a potential exception for forensic experts. From there, they will continue to iron out protocols and procedures for ballot inspection.
“I’m wondering also whether or not it’s possible to produce the envelopes in a way that does 100 percent eliminate any identifying information,” Amero asked.
The attorney general counsel representing the Secretary of State’s office explained the envelopes are signed which is considered identifying information. The signature and time and date stamp are on the back of the envelope. Plaintiffs have asked for the time and date information.
Secretary of State requested a “truly independent” audit rather than conducted by the petitioners who may have “preconceived biases.”
“I have no inclination at all to release these ballots to anyone other than the clerk and the council,” Amero told the Secretary of State’s attorney, “Whether they have the right to conduct these independent viewings, maybe not a physical inspection, but an inspection none the less, a visual inspection, combined with an opportunity to have ballot images at a resolution that allows them to peruse their claims that seems to be something that they have the authority and the right to do.”
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the following about election integrity and ballot audits following today’s ruling:
“From day one I have encouraged Georgians with concerns about the election in their counties to pursue those claims through legal avenues. Fulton County has a long standing history of election mismanagement that has understandably weakened voters’ faith in its system. Allowing this audit provides another layer of transparency and citizen engagement.”
According to the plaintiffs’ legal counsel, a special scanner would need to be brought in to achieve 600 dpi images of the ballots. The judge will take that into consideration along with the time and labor necessary to complete the task.
Garland Favorito, a voting rights advocate, is one of the plaintiffs in the case, and his group VoterGa has partnered with Jovan Pulitzer for forensic inspection.
“Jovan is the only expert we have found who clearly understands all details of what is needed in a forensic ballot inspection. His unique, patented technology is unmatched in the country. He has assembled a remarkable team of forensic experts who can be on site to assist VoterGA inspection team members. His technology team and our Georgia election expertise represent the perfect combination of teammates who can find the truth about Georgia ballot integrity no matter what that truth may be.”
All election contest suits have been dismissed. This particular case pertains to a violation of individual rights pertaining to the state constitution.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga – Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) advised prudence before superseding the state constitution. Mayor Giuliani presented a witness in last week’s Georgia Senate hearings who urged the General Assembly to convene under Article II of the U.S. Constitution. The move would overrule state law that a special session can only be called the governor or three-fifths majority from both legislative bodies.
Previously, Ralston and Giuliani spoke about the Article II option are looking into it. If a constitutional method surfaces, Ralston confirmed that he would be open to it.
“I’m not sure what that would look like,” Ralston stated. “We’ve got to be very, very careful because whatever we do will set a precedent. This issue of can we come into a session and disregard the fact that there’s been two or three certifications, whether we agree with them or not…that’s something I think we’ve want to tread very, very carefully around because that could be used against us someday.”
During a phone call with President Trump, Ralston relayed that the President was “upbeat” and wants a special session of the General Assembly. The Speaker warned it would be an “uphill battle.”
Governor Brian Kemp (R) released a statement on Sunday, December 6, stating that calling a special session to establish “a separate slate of presidential electors is not an option that is allowed under state or federal law.”
Also, the General Assembly doesn’t have the required three-fifths majority to convene. According to Ralston, the House is two votes short.
He added that President Donald Trump (R) could make a case that he won Georgia, and Ralston has reviewed “enough evidence to raise questions that need to be answered.” For this reason, Ralston hasn’t signed any statements supporting the outcome of the Georgia election.
“I’ve never seen in my public career the level of anger and concern that’s out there now. People are very upset, and I get that. I’m upset,” Ralston said. “I believe it’s vital he be reelected. His policies are good for this country, particularly when compared to policies of the other party.”
The Speaker admonished anyone considering not voting in the January 5 runoff, calling it “handing over the keys of the U.S. Senate to Chuck Schumer.”
On Thursday, the House of Representatives Governmental Affairs Committee will convene to discuss Georgia’s elections.