Trump rages against ‘election fraud’ after Georgia judge dismisses baseless 2020 lawsuit

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A day after Georgia officials testified that they were unable to find any counterfeit or fraudulent ballots from the 2020 presidential election, a judge has dismissed the final lawsuit in the state filed by a group of Donald Trump supporters alleging voter fraud, landing yet another blow to the spurious legal challenges filed by the former president and his supporters.

Following the ruling on 13 October, the former president slammed the decision as “unfair” and revived his baseless narrative that election results were manipulated in a string of brief, Twitter-like statements issued by his spokesperson.

“Our country is going to hell and we are not allowed transparency even in our elections,” he said. “The fight continues, we will never give up.”

The ruling is the latest in a pile of nationwide legal challenges filed by Mr Trump’s allies in a nearly year-long attempt to overturn election results in contested states, all of which have been rejected.

In his ruling, Georgia Superior Court Judge Brian Amero said that the plaintiffs “allege their votes have been diluted due to the ‘substantial likelihood’ that fraudulent ballots were introduced” during ballot processing, a claim that state and federal investigators have roundly rejected.

“They also allege that the issue will persist in future elections if not corrected,” Judge Amero wrote. “Regardless of the veracity of these allegations, the court finds petitioners have still failed to allege a particularized injury.”

The judge ruled that the plaintiffs had no standing in the case – invoking the legal principle in which plaintiffs must show that they suffered a specific injury to sue – but evidence presented from the state informed his decision.

Following several investigations and three ballot counts, including a hand recount of the results, Joe Biden defeated Mr Trump in Georgia by roughly 12,000 votes.

Plaintiffs sought a review of thousands of ballots cast in Fulton County, including “scanned ballot images and physical copies of every mail-in and absentee ballot that was counted, audited, and recounted,” according to court documents.

State investigators and the US Attorney’s Office found no evidence of fraudulent ballots, according to court filings submitted on behalf of Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on 12 October.

“I have said time and time again that though Fulton County was sloppy and made lots of mistakes in November, as they have for decades, there was no widespread fraud or illegal voting that would overturn the November election,” Mr Raffensperger said on Wednesday.

“The results were, as we reported, that President Trump came up short in the state of Georgia,” he said.

“Joe Biden won, Donald Trump lost – it’s time for the other side to face the facts and move on,” Fulton County Board of Commissioners chair Rob Pitts said.

“This lawsuit was the result of the ‘big lie,’ which is nothing more than a meritless conspiracy theory being spread by people who simply cannot accept that their side lost,” he said in a statement. “Its defeat here today should echo throughout the nation.”

In a statement, lead plaintiff Garland Favorito said “it is not adequate for any organisation to secretly tell us there are no counterfeit ballots and refuse to let the public inspect them.”

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