Giving plaintiffs in the court case access to the original ballots would violate recent updates to the Georgia Open Records Act, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in an April 2 action in Fulton County Superior Court.
The office of Raffensperger, a Republican, said he takes no opinion on the sides of the case, but “respectfully requests that the Court permit Petitioners to inspect ballot images only, and deny Petitioners’ request to inspect and scan ballots.”
“This result is consistent with Georgia law, and appropriately balances Petitioners’ interests in inspecting ballot images with the State’s and the public’s interest in maintaining the security and integrity of confidential ballots,” the filing states.
Garland Favorito, head of a voting integrity group called VOTER GA, along with other voters, filed the case, claiming there were irregularities in how ballots were calculated in Georgia in the 2020 presidential race.
The request mentioned multiple poll workers who said they saw unusual events during ballot counting and noted that Election Day observers at State Farm Arena in Atlanta were directed to think that counting was over for the night, only to continue after all spectators had left.
Election officials failed to comply with state law that asks the government to treat similarly resided individuals, the petitioners said, asking the court to give them access to ballots to assure the election results were accurate.
The judge hearing the case, Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero, said last month that he’s ready to obtain the ballots opened and examined by experts hired by Favorito. Fulton County officials didn’t immediately return a request for comment. A county official on April 5 told the court in a document that she does not back the advanced order to open election materials.
Raffensperger in the new filing asked Amero not to let the group study the ballots without regarding his plea.
Favorito told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement: “Secretary of State Raffensperger never ceases to amaze me. He is now officially on record in adamant opposition to transparent elections.”
“If the November 3, 2020, election controversy does not justify unsealing the ballots, then whatever would? Ballots have no voter information, so there is nothing secret about them as the brief tried to imply,” he added. “The ballots belong to the people of Georgia, not Brad Raffensperger. Citizens like us should not have to spend thousands of dollars and hours of our time to sue officials so we can see what should be public records in the first place.”