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A Georgia superior court judge ruled Friday that absentee ballots in the 2020 presidential election can be unsealed –  a win for petitioners in case allowing them to go to where the ballots are stored in Fulton County.

Henry County Superior Judge Brian Amero said in the ruling that he’ll issue an order soon to lay out the process for the scanning and inspection of the ballots, which will be done by county workers while petitioners and their experts observe, according to the Epoch Times.

A group of voters filed a petition last year asking for a forensic inspection of mail-in ballots – alleged such abnormalities as an abnormally high total of them for the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, and the Republican incumbent, Donald Trump.

Amero allowed the petitioners in March access to scanned images of the ballots, but attorneys for the petitioners argued in court that the resolution was too low to perform proper analysis and needed to see them first hand, The Times also reports.

Forensics expert David Sawyer told the court that he had identified a discrepancy in the number of ballot batches received from the Dominion Voting Systems software, compared to the number Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office listed as having been examined in an audit.

“From day one I have encouraged Georgians with concerns about the election in their counties to pursue those claims through legal avenues,” Raffensperger said in a statement from his office to Just the News. “Fulton County has a long standing history of election mismanagement that has understandably weakened voters’ faith in its system. Allowing this audit provides another layer of transparency and citizen engagement.”

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Court & Law

Supreme Court declines case challenging California’s winner-take-all presidential election process

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The Supreme Court has declined to hear a lawsuit regarding the constitutionality of California’s winner-take-all method for choosing presidential electors.

“Petitioners are two California Republicans and two non-profit organizations who have alleged their votes for President and Vice President are diluted by California’s use of the so-called winner-take-all system,” the petition said. “That system, by law, results in the appointment of members of only one political party to the Nation’s largest electoral college delegation.”

Among the petitioners are actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

The Golden State has consistently gone blue in every presidential election spanning from 1992 through 2020. Prior to that, the state had gone red during every election from 1968 through 1988.

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Election

Pennsylvania state Sen. Mastriano says state could have an election audit by July

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Pennsylvania Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano said Tuesday he thinks Pennsylvania could have an Arizona-style election audit by July.

“If we had the support with the majority of the members in any committee we do this from, and from the body [Senate] itself, probably July, we could see it,” Mastriano said on Real America’s Voice’s “Just The Truth” with Jena Ellis. 

Mastriano, along with fellow Pennsylvania state Sen. Cris Dush and stat Rep. Rob Kauffman, met with Arizona officials and politicians last week to tour the Arizona Republican-backed forensic audit of the 2020 election.

Mastriano said there are several ways the state could issue an election audit. A state Senate committee would use its subpoena powers to send a letter to a county or several counties to declare its intention to issue an audit of votes.

The Pennsylvanian senator said July would be the earliest the state could have an election audit if he could get the support in the legislature. However, he did not say whether he had the support in the legislature to get the audit to pass.

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Ariz. Senate Considering Recount of Maricopa County Election Audit Again

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The Arizona Senate is contemplating a recount of the 2020 election audit taking place in Maricopa County, reports NPR.

Arizona Senators are considering hiring a California-based nonprofit to analyze ballot images and create a third set of numbers to compare with the recount from Dominion Voting Systems machines and the hand recount being conducted by Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based firm in charge of the current audit.

The firm being considered is nonprofit Citizens’ Oversight, which was brought to the Senate’s attention by John Brakey, a Democrat who works for Audit USA and is working as Bennett’s assistant during the audit.

“I would say absolutely this is a grand test,” Lutz told the Arizona Republic this week. “I think it is certainly a big test for me because I have put a lot of work on it for the last year and a half or so. We have enhanced it to the point now where I believe we can do a lot to provide information about how well (this election) went.”

Lutz uses as an audit engine, or a set of computers, to tabulate the results from each ballot for all contests before comparing the numbers it generates with the official records. The review produces a discrepancy report.

The nonprofit has analyzed ballot images in various counties before but doesn’t appear to have been officially contracted to do so. In one recent case, Lutz’s team analyzed ballot images from three counties in Florida, reports the Epoch Times.

The hand recount is focusing on only two races: the presidential election and the U.S. Senate race. Citizens’ Oversight would be using its technology to audit all the races that were on the ballot.

While Bennett said the ballot image analysis would be finished before the hand count is done, Lutz wasn’t certain that would be the case. He said it would depend on a number of factors, including the condition of the ballot images.

Bennett and Brakey told reporters at the arena on May 27 that more than 800,000 ballots have been counted. They said the process will be completed by June 30.

The current audit started on April 23 and resumed last week after a break. It involves recounting the nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County in last year’s election. Workers are also examining election machines including 385 tabulators.

Democrats have largely opposed the audit, including Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. She recently warned Maricopa County against using any of the audited machines in upcoming elections, citing security concerns about losing the chain of custody over the equipment when it was handed over to the auditors.

For months, Arizona Senate Republicans battled with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in court over access to ballots that were cast in the 2020 election and other material for a supposed audit. That audit finally got going in late April, generating national headlines, reported the Phoenix New Times.

The audit is still pending.

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