Several Republican voters and potential electors alleged “massive ballot” stuffing and other forms of fraud via Dominion Voting Systems that caused the Georgia election to be erroneously called for Joe Biden. This suit (Pearson) was disparaged in the media because it contains typos. However, it also contains detailed affidavits from at least 30 witnesses along with other forms of evidentiary information supporting the claims of fraud. Citing expert analysis, the suit alleges that at least 96,000 votes were illegally counted in the 2020 General Election. According to Georgia law, certain conditions need to be met to contest an election, and in this case, Powell claims these conditions were met and the Georgia results need to be set aside in their entirety.
In addition to fraud claims about the Dominion Voting Systems, the suit also alleged improper conduct during the election. Secretary of State Raffensperger had entered into a settlement agreement (“Consent Decree”) with Georgia Democrats to modify election law guidelines in direct contravention of Georgia election law. For example, the law explicitly prohibits canvassing of early votes before election day, but the Consent Decree permitted such pre-canvassing up to three weeks prior to the election.
The suit also alleged numerous improprieties and even federal crimes in the post-election recount such that no meaningful audit actually took place. Detailed affidavits also support these claims. For example, several affiants stated that they personally saw votes for Donald Trump being placed in the pile for Joe Biden. One of these affiants is a democrat who witnessed this several times. In short, the suit states that “[t]he stunning pattern of the nature and acts of fraud demonstrate an absence of mistake.”
As for the Dominion Voting Systems, the allegations of fraud are not unexpected as many government officials opposed the purchase of these machines in 2019. Stacy Abrams, the losing gubernatorial candidate in 2018 was one of the lead objectors.
Another major allegation was about the shutdown at the State Farm Arena in Fulton County (Atlanta). Election officials reported that 30,000 absentee ballots had not been counted while the State Farm Arena was closed due to a major water pipe break. In actuality, there had only been a small toilet leak the day before that could not have impacted absentee ballots. And while most election workers were told to leave during the shutdown, a small number remained and continued counting votes. After this suit was filed, video footage emerged showing the remaining poll workers finding completed ballots in previously hidden suitcases and running them through the tabulator multiple times during the night.
The suit also detailed a number of other illegal ballot-counting schemes that far overcome the small lead that Joe Biden appears to hold. Plaintiffs asked to de-certify the Georgia vote among other injunctive and declaratory measures.
On November 29, District Court Judge Batten ordered Defendants to maintain the status quo of the Dominion Voting machines and not wipe the data or reset the count to zero as Plaintiffs claimed the state planned to do on November 30. However, after an appeal from the Defendants claiming the Secretary of State has no authority over county boards and that Plaintiffs had not proven that Georgia controlled the machines, Judge Batten reversed himself. Defendants had also claimed that “allowing such forensic inspections would pose substantial security and proprietary/trade secret risks to Defendants.”
Judge Batten reversed himself again and gave Defendants until 5 PM on December 2 to prove their claims, supported by affidavits or other evidence. “Defendants are hereby ENJOINED and RESTRAINED from altering, destroying, or erasing, or allowing the alteration, destruction, or erasure of, any software or data on any Dominion voting machine in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee Counties.” This order would remain in effect for ten days or until the next court order.
A hearing was set for December 4 at 5 PM. The many motions to be reviewed included declaratory judgments about illegal ballot counting and decertifying the electoral vote, a request to seize and impound the Dominion Voting machines, and the production of 36 hours of security footage in all rooms used in the voting process at the State Farm Arena.
On December 5, the Defense filed a series of affidavits in support of a motion to remove the TRO. They all described an uneventful recount process. At the same time, the Defense also moved to exclude many of the Plaintiffs’ witnesses. And they moved to dismiss Plaintiffs’ motion for injunctive relief. In a hearing on December 7, Judge Batten dismissed the suit, saying that the Plaintiffs did not have standing to sue in Federal court and that they had filed the suit too late. He said that allegations about the Dominion Voting Systems should have been taken to Secretary Raffensperger before the election.
On December 4, Pearson filed an emergency appeal to have the case transferred to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The circuit court dismissed the appeal because the district court ruling was not a final judgment and therefore not open for appeal – the December 2 TRO was still in effect.
Plaintiffs then filed an emergency petition for an extraordinary writ of mandamus, presenting the following questions:
- Do presidential electors have standing to challenge the outcome of a presidential election for fraud and illegality that cause the defeat of their candidate?
- Are the Petitioners’ claims barred by laches?
- Do federal courts have and should they exercise jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C § 1983 over claims by presidential electors that the presidential election was stolen from them by fraud and illegality under [the] color [of] law in violation of their constitutional rights under the Elections and Electors, Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the U.S. Constitution?
- Is a claim by presidential electors to de-certify the results of a presidential election and enjoin voting in the electoral college by the rival slate of electors barred by laches when it is brought within the state law statute of limitations for post-certification election contests, and before the post recount re-certification?
- Do the remedial powers of a federal court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1988 include invalidation of an unconstitutionally conducted election, and an injunction against presidential electors appointed in such an election from voting in the Electoral College?
On January 19, 2021, Petitioners moved to voluntarily dismiss the case. The case was dismissed on February 11, 2021.
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