On Friday, former Georgia Senator David Perdue, a Republican running for governor with the support of former President Donald J. Trump, filed a lawsuit requesting the inspection of absentee ballots cast in the 2020 election, reviving long-debunked claims in the latest sign that Mr. Trump’s election grievances will be central to his candidacy for governor in the state of Georgia.
To support his claims of widespread election fraud, Mr. Trump instigated the Capitol riot on January 6th, which culminated in the filing of the lawsuit. According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, more than half of Republican elected officials have changed their tune on election conspiracy theories since Trump’s inauguration.
Immediately after announcing his candidacy on Monday, Mr. Perdue was endorsed by Mr. Trump. He is running against Gov. Brian Kemp, a fellow Republican who is a staunch conservative, but has come under fire from the former president and his allies for refusing to help them overturn President Biden’s victory in Georgia. Perdue said this week that if he had been governor, he would not have certified the results.
In order to give themselves an air of authority, Republicans across the country have continued to cast doubt on the validity of the 2020 election by conducting partisan reviews of the results. Republican legislators in at least five states, including Oklahoma, Tennessee and Florida, have introduced legislation to begin new reviews in the upcoming legislative session.
This suit, first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, claims that the state’s most populous county and a major source of Democratic votes, Fulton, violated the will of the people of Georgia by circumventing the majority vote on Nov. 3, 2020, and thus impacted its statewide general election outcome in numerous ways.
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Allegations of “multiple unlawful election acts” were made against a county election official and his subordinates, according to the complaint filed by Mr. Perdue.
Bob Cheeley, a lawyer for the candidate, tells the Journal-Constitution that Perdue wants to use his position and legal standing to expose what he knows were serious violations of Georgia law in the Fulton absentee ballot tabulation.
According to Georgia’s election officials, Mr. Biden won the state by a narrow margin but with a decisive margin in 2020.
Senator Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, defeated Mr. Perdue in his re-election bid in January.
A group of voters led by a well-known conspiracy theorist filed a similar lawsuit earlier this year, prompting Mr. Perdue to follow suit. A Henry County Superior Court judge ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing and could not show any specific harm or injury in this case, which sought to inspect all 147,000 absentee ballots in Fulton County.
Considering Mr. Perdue was a candidate for the upcoming 2020 presidential election, his lawsuit may be able to circumvent some of Judge Amero’s rulings.
The suit was criticised by a number of Republican lawmakers in Georgia.
Gov. Kemp’s campaign spokesman, Cody Hall, said David Perdue was so worried about election fraud that he waited a year to file a lawsuit, which coincidentally came at the same time as his disastrous campaign debut. “Remember that Perdue declined to be listed as a plaintiff in lawsuit after lawsuit regarding the 2020 election.”
President Trump’s Republican allies have attacked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for defying Trump’s election pressure. Raffensperger issued a statement saying that fake Trumpers like Perdue are “trying to curry favour with the Trump base by pushing election conspiracy theories that everyone — including the voters they are hoping to attract — knows they don’t really believe.”
Elections and voting rights continue to be the subject of litigation and national attention in Georgia. The right-wing news site Gateway Pundit, which falsely claimed that the state’s election workers had altered ballots, was sued last week for defamation by two election officials who worked in the state. The rapper Kanye West, who ran for president and previously supported Mr. Trump, reportedly pressured a Reuters employee to admit to vote-rigging, according to Reuters, which was first reported on by the news agency on Friday.
The Georgia Democratic Party, which is expected to nominate Stacey Abrams as the state’s next governor, savoured the high-profile Republican vs. Democrat showdown and tried to group them all together.
David Perdue’s “sad ploy for attention” is “reprehensible,” the Democratic Party said in a statement. David Perdue and Brian Kemp’s voter suppression laws are based on the same fabricated lies; neither of these men is qualified to lead our state.