'Huge victory': Judge names members of Fulton election board in lawsuit; ballot audit will proceed
Suit seeks to learn if major Georgia county mishandled absentee ballot counting.
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An order handed down by a Georgia judge today named several individual members of a county elections board as respondents in an election-related lawsuit, clearing the way for an intensive audit of 2020 absentee ballots in Georgia's largest county.
Superior Court Judge Brian Amero in a Thursday ruling dismissed several claims brought against governmental entities of Fulton County on sovereign immunity grounds, but he allowed the five members of Fulton County's Board of Registration and Elections to be named in the suit.
"Sovereign immunity" is a legal doctrine that holds that governmental parties are protected from many or most forms of lawsuits. In Amero's ruling, he notes that Georgia law stipulates that “no suit alleging violations of due process or equal protection rights under the Georgia Constitution, that seek declaratory or injunctive relief, may be initiated against either the state or county,” barring a waiver from the state legislature or the state constitution.
Yet even as he dismissed the government parties in the suit, Amero subsequently moved to add the five members of Fulton's elections board as parties pursuant to a request from the petitioners in the case.
Bob Cheeley, an Atlanta-area lawyer serving as the lead attorney for two of the petitioners, told Just the News that the filing will help the complainants "get an audit and get to the truth" and that the audit will move forward following the decision.
“This is a huge victory for everyone who wants to get to the truth about the way in which Fulton County mishandled the absentee ballot count,” he said on Thursday evening.
Fulton County did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday evening.