Judge Brian Amero on Friday agreed to allow more than 145,000 Fulton County absentee ballots to be reviewed as part of an audit.
Amero granted the review in response to a lawsuit brought by nine plaintiffs challenging the Georgia election results.
The plaintiffs claim there was suspicious activity at a ballot-counting site in Atlanta—a claim which was also made by former President Donald Trump—but an investigation by the Georgia secretary of state’s office found no evidence of fraud.
The audit will not change the state’s election results, which were certified following multiple recounts, with all affirming President Joe Biden’s victory and finding no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
It’s not clear yet where and when the audit will take place, or what methods will be used.
What’s known is that the ballots will remain in Fulton County custody, unlike in the Arizona audit, where ballots have been turned over to a private company. The Arizona hand recount of 2.1 million Maricopa County ballots is on hold for the moment since the audit site had to be cleared this week for high school graduations. The audit is set to resume on Sunday and will likely continue through the end of June.
In Georgia, dozens of lawsuits have been filed challenging the 2020 presidential election results, as conspiracy theories continue to swirl among Trump supporters. Some hardline QAnon followers believe the Arizona recount is just the beginning of a domino effect in which other states will find enough evidence of fraud to overturn the election results and restore Trump as president of the United States. A Georgia audit may add fuel to the fire of those beliefs, but QAnon’s “domino theory” is not based in reality. Recounts have continually found no evidence of fraud, and even if the Arizona and Georgia audits were to do so, they could not change the long-certified 2020 election results.
Arizona’s ballot review has been lambasted as nothing more than political theater, especially considering the bizarre background of those overseeing it and the methods being used. That includes scanning ballots for bamboo fibers, following an absurd conspiracy theory that 40,000 forged ballots were somehow shipped into Arizona from Asia and counted in the election. Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas—which is running the audit—has also pushed a conspiracy theory that a company tied to long-dead Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez somehow rigged voting machines against Trump.