Just days after launching a bid for Georgia governor, Republican David Perdue on Friday deepened his support of election fraud conspiracies by filing a lawsuit that seeks to inspect absentee ballots from the 2020 election.
The lawsuit alleges that thousands of counterfeit or fraudulent ballots were counted in Fulton County, the state’s most populous county — although Georgia investigators have previously said they have found no evidence to substantiate that claim.
Perdue has made election fraud claims central to his campaign to oust Gov. Brian Kemp, a fellow Republican. Earlier this week, the former senator told Axios that he would not have certified the 2020 election results had he been governor at the time, as Kemp did.
Former President Donald Trump — who has relentlessly advanced baseless claims of fraud in Georgia — has endorsed Perdue’s candidacy.
Georgia officials have repeatedly said there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Georgia, where the ballots were counted three times. President Joe Biden won the state by about 12,000 votes, becoming the first Democratic presidential contender in nearly three decades to do so.
Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts called the lawsuit a “desperate attempt to appeal to believers of the Big Lie.”
“The 2020 election is over — the votes have been counted three times, including once by hand, and no evidence of wrongdoing has ever been found,” Pitts said in a statement. “It’s clear that the former Senator is only doing this to play dirty politics and try to get out of a tough primary.”
Perdue and his fellow petitioner, Fulton County voter Elizabeth Grace Lennon, are seeking to inspect the paper ballots, envelopes and other election materials.
The lawsuit does not contest the election results, but says it’s an “action to bring transparency, fairness, honesty, and quality to Georgia elections and to hold responsible those government officials who violate the equal protection and due process rights of Petitioners.”
The lawsuit revisits claims made in a previous lawsuit tossed out by a judge in October. Henry County Judge Brian Amero dismissed that case, saying the petitioners lacked standing to do so and “failed to allege a particularized injury.”
His ruling came a day after the Georgia Secretary of State’s office had 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 new lawsuit says Perdue has standing because he was on the ballot last November. He failed to win the majority of votes in that election, forcing him into a runoff — which he lost to Democrat Jon Ossoff in January.
“David Perdue wants to use his position and legal standing to shine light on what he knows were serious violations of Georgia law in the Fulton absentee ballot tabulation,” his lawyer Bob Cheeley said in a statement.
“We are asking a judge to consider the evidence after our forensic examination of the absentee ballots is completed and hold those persons responsible who engaged in this wrongful conduct.”
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