BREAKING: Court Reinstates Crucial 2020 Election Case

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

Cases filed across the United States after the 2020 presidential election alleging fraud in that election have been back and forth since 2020. Those who will not give up and who are using any and all appeal processes to continue the protest are making headway as some appeals are being answered.

In Arizona, gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and others are chasing down the malfunctions that occurred in Maricopa County during the 2020 election process with voters. Machines did not work and voters were sent to other locations to vote because of the malfunctions. Questions as to last-minute ballots appearing also arose. There have been at least 8 lawsuits in Arizona.

Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have seen multiple lawsuits regarding the 2020 election. Former President Trump himself has brought lawsuits in several of those states. rulings and appeals processes in many of those cases have been ongoing since the 2020 election.

In Georgia, there have been rulings and appeals in one case that have now made it back to the court in Georgia.

A lawsuit against the members of the county Board of Registration and Elections was originally filed in December 2020 by VoterGA, an election integrity nonprofit organization. The case was separated into two different cases, the other one being Caroline Jeffords, et al. v. Fulton County, et al.

Both of the cases were dismissed in July by the appeals court in July 2022, which upheld a lower court ruling that the petitioners did not have standing. In October, the Georgia Supreme Court redefined what constitutes “standing” for a party to bring a lawsuit, including voters.

“[O]nly plaintiffs with a cognizable injury can bring a suit in Georgia courts,” the state Supreme Court ruled in its October decision of Sons of Confederate Veterans v. Henry County Board of Commissioners. “Unlike federal law, however, that injury need not always be individualized; sometimes it can be a generalized grievance shared by community members, especially other residents, taxpayers, voters, or citizens.”

Regarding voters, the court later noted in the case: “Voters may be injured when elections are not administered according to the law or when elected officials fail to follow the voters’ referendum for increased taxes to fund a particular project, so voters may have standing to vindicate public rights.”

The 2020 election lawsuit against Fulton County election officials has now been again addressed after the state Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court last month in that ruling.

On Monday, the The Georgia Court of Appeals has reinstated the Garland Favorito, et al. v. Alex Wan, et al. case, which alleges that counterfeit ballots were included in the 2020 absentee election results in Fulton County, Just the News reports.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that judges questioned why the matter should be delved into. “You’re alleging…that there are various discrepancies that caused some suspicion, at least in the minds of the plaintiffs, that there might have been some misconduct. But there’s no evidence that that’s actually occurred, right?” Presiding Judge Christopher McFadden said during the 30-minute oral argument.

An attorney for the plaintiffs responded to the judge’s question by pointing out that they need the courts to allow them to look for evidence of suspicious ballots. Remaining yet unverified, there are reports that Republican auditors saw “pristine” ballots with perfectly filled-in ovals or no fold lines during a manual recount.

Celebrating the ruling to send the case back, one of the petitioners stated the importance of addressing the case in a timely manner.

Favorito, one of the petitioners and the co-founder of VoterGA, said in a statement regarding his lawsuit, “The misapplication of state and federal law, as well as case precedents, caused a two-year delay that prevented us from ensuring Georgia has honest, transparent elections. This double standard of justice impacted millions of Georgians and is one of the greatest voting rights violations in the state’s history.”

Making the point to future legal precedents, the AJC noted that Paul Kunst, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the courts need to ensure that voters can sue when they doubt the accuracy of elections. The case was filed by several voters, led by Garland Favorito of the group VoterGA.

“The public policy implications in this case are huge. Confidence in the integrity of our electoral process is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy,” Kunst stated. “Nothing would boost or restore confidence in the American people more than to let the case move forward.”

The AJC notes that while original paper ballots remain confidential government records, digital images of absentee ballots have been made public. The ballot images don’t contain the kind of perfectly filled-in-ovals and lack of fold marks that the plaintiffs had alleged, leading to the speculation that it is the digital images of absentee ballots that are under scrutiny in the case.

It is not expected that there will be a ruling on the case until this summer.

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