Fulton County’s Ballot Inspection Hearing Faces Last-Minute Delay After Sudden Transferral to Another Judicial Circuit


A hearing to decide whether Fulton County would be ordered to allow public inspection of their general election ballots was transferred suddenly. The hearing was scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. EST with the Fulton County Superior Court under Judge Rachelle Carnesale.

Instead, the hearing will occur in another county within another judicial circuit. The plaintiffs, election integrity organization Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia (VoterGA), sued for constitutional rights violations. On Monday, Judge Carnesale decided the case was truly an election case and therefore not within her jurisdiction.

Garland Favorito, Co-Founder of VoterGA, shared the news of the sudden changes in an email to The Georgia Star News.

“We believe that the Fulton [County] Chief Judge attempted to order this transfer because Fulton [County] does not have all of the ballots to inspect and are attempting to confirm that,” wrote Favorito in the email.

Favorito added that their attorney on the case, Todd Harding, immediately filed to have the case remanded back to the original judge.

As previously reported by The Star, VoterGA had believed they would receive a ruling shortly after Monday’s hearing. Their optimism stemmed from the Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee’s letter to Fulton County requesting a similar inspection of absentee mail-in ballots.

“Did they explain it, no. What we believe is that she didn’t want to hear the case,” stated Favorito. “She’s running for reelection and thought [hearing our case] would damage her. They pretended it was an election case, and they moved it over to Coweta County. [But] we found out that [the change] may have been a good thing, because we’ve got a good judge. We could be inspecting ballots Thursday or Friday and have our answer. We should know pretty quickly if they had invalid ballots.”

Favorito explained that they would have 2,000 volunteers or more to conduct the investigation. Their responsibility would be to look for telltale signs of mail-in ballot authenticity, such as man-made versus machine-made creases and ink markings. After, photographed images of the ballots would be passed onto expert forensic analysts.

“[For the investigation], you’ll need experts for the forensics, but the forensic [examination] won’t be done on sight,” explained Favorito. “We’ll produce a hard drive for them to inspect off-site. There will be three drives: one for forensics, one for plaintiffs, and one for defendants, and each drive will contain all the ballot images.”

In reflecting on the judge’s decision, Favorito stated that no grounds existed for such a sudden transfer.

“I think there’s no rationale for denying our request,” stated Favorito. “Why are we in court to begin with? Why isn’t [what we’re arguing for already in] Georgia law? We’ve been trying to make this Georgia law for years.”

According to VoterGA, the new remote hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday. The organization stated that a live stream link will be shared to their website either Tuesday or early Wednesday.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].






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One Thought to “Fulton County’s Ballot Inspection Hearing Faces Last-Minute Delay After Sudden Transferral to Another Judicial Circuit”

  1. dan

    Recall Kemp, Duncan, and Raffensperger. Send the $200K contractor mouthpiece and the deputy to the place where they are issued state jumpsuits if they are guilty of violating the law. Then repeat with those listed above and then add Ralston