By Sara Murray and Rachel Janfaza, CNN
A judge in Georgia on Wednesday dismissed a case that could have paved the way for an audit of Fulton County’s ballots, bringing to a close the final outstanding lawsuit challenging Georgia’s election results.
The ballot review was set to move ahead in Georgia’s most populous county after a judge ruled in May that absentee ballots could be unsealed for parties looking to examine them for evidence of fraud.
The case came as conservatives have clamored for and followed through with election audits in a number of states in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s November loss. The baseless belief that there was widespread fraud has persisted among some Republicans, despite a lack of evidence.
Henry County Judge Brian Amero, in dismissing the case, wrote that the petitioners who brought the lawsuit lacked standing to do so and “failed to allege a particularized injury.”
Amero had already dismissed a case against Fulton County and its elections board, but did not dismiss cases against specific board members, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
The judge’s ruling Wednesday comes a day after the Georgia secretary of state’s office filed a brief in the case stating that “the Secretary’s investigators have been unable to substantiate the allegations that fraudulent or counterfeit ballots were counted in the 2020 General Election in Fulton County.” The office said that conclusion was reached after interviews and inspecting some 1,000 absentee ballots and ballot images.
The election skeptics who filed the lawsuit had claimed an audit was necessary to determine if counterfeit ballots had been cast.
“All citizens of Georgia have a right to know whether or not counterfeit ballots were injected into the Fulton Co. election results, how many were injected, where they came from and how we can prevent it from happening again in future elections,” said Garland Favorito, one of the parties who brought the lawsuit. “It is not adequate for any organization to secretly tell us there are no counterfeit ballots and refuse to let the public inspect them.”
“Judge Amero’s Ruling means that the Favorito et al. vs. Fulton County et al. is now over. The case has been dismissed and there will be no further proceedings of any kind in this specific case,” a spokesperson for Fulton County said in a statement to CNN.
Former President Donald Trump — who is still trying to claim victory in Georgia, a state that flipped from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020, and has peddled lies that the election was stolen there — also weighed in Wednesday, calling the dismissed case “a disgrace.”
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CNN’s Jason Morris contributed to this report.