Georgia high court affirms dismissal of election challenge

Legal Events

Georgia's highest court on Thursday affirmed a lower court dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the outcome of last year's race for lieutenant governor in a case that put a spotlight on the outdated voting machines the state is in the process of replacing.

The lawsuit alleged that an undercount of tens of thousands of votes in the lieutenant governor's race was likely caused by problems with the state's paperless touchscreen voting machines that either caused voters not to vote in that race or those votes to go uncounted.

That assertion is "wholly unsupported" by the record in the case, so the trial court wasn't wrong to conclude that the plaintiffs "failed to meet their burden of showing an irregularity in Georgia's electronic voting system sufficient to cast doubt on the 2018 election," Georgia Supreme Court Justice Sarah Warren wrote in the unanimous opinion.

Republican Geoff Duncan beat Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico by 123,172 votes to become lieutenant governor. Amico is not a party to the lawsuit, which was filed in November by the Coalition for Good Governance, an election integrity advocacy organization; Smythe Duval, who ran for secretary of state as a Libertarian; and two Georgia voters. It was filed against Duncan and election officials.

Senior Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs dismissed the lawsuit in January. In their appeal to the high court, the plaintiffs argued that Grubbs erred by not allowing discovery prior to trial.

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