Georgia appeals court reinstates Fulton County 2020 election case

The lawsuit was originally dismissed for lack of standing.

Published: January 12, 2023 1:06pm

Updated: January 12, 2023 3:09pm

The Georgia Court of Appeals has reinstated a 2020 election lawsuit against Fulton County election officials after the state Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court last month.

On Monday, the appeals court reinstated the Garland Favorito, et al. v. Alex Wan, et al. case, which alleges that counterfeit ballots were included in the 2020 absentee election results in Fulton County.

The lawsuit against the members of the county Board of Registration and Elections was originally filed in December 2020 by VoterGA, an election integrity nonprofit organization.

The case was separated into two different cases, the other one being Caroline Jeffords, et al. v. Fulton County, et al.

Both of the cases were dismissed in July by the appeals court in July 2022, which upheld a lower court ruling that the petitioners did not have standing.

In October, the Georgia Supreme Court redefined what constitutes "standing" for a party to bring a lawsuit, including voters.

"[O]nly plaintiffs with a cognizable injury can bring a suit in Georgia courts," the state Supreme Court ruled in its October decision of Sons of Confederate Veterans v. Henry County Board of Commissioners. "Unlike federal law, however, that injury need not always be individualized; sometimes it can be a generalized grievance shared by community members, especially other residents, taxpayers, voters, or citizens."

Regarding voters, the court later noted in the case: "Voters may be injured when elections are not administered according to the law or when elected officials fail to follow the voters' referendum for increased taxes to fund a particular project, so voters may have standing to vindicate public rights."

Favorito, one of the petitioners and the co-founder of VoterGA, said in a statement regarding his lawsuit, "The misapplication of state and federal law, as well as case precedents, caused a two-year delay that prevented us from ensuring Georgia has honest, transparent elections. This double standard of justice impacted millions of Georgians and is one of the greatest voting rights violations in the state's history."

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