Perdue sues to inspect absentee ballots from 2020 Georgia election

Credit: Nathan Posner

Credit: Nathan Posner

Lawsuit arrives four days after announcing his campaign

Republican candidate for Georgia governor David Perdue filed a lawsuit Friday seeking to inspect absentee ballots in Fulton County, repeating some of the same unproven allegations as in a lawsuit dismissed two months ago.

Perdue’s complaint, filed four days after he launched his campaign, revives a series of failed lawsuits by supporters of former President Donald Trump searching for fraud in last year’s election.

Perdue has put false claims of election fraud at the center of his campaign against incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. The former U.S. senator said he wouldn’t have certified the election results and wanted a special legislative session to delve into conspiracy theories about the outcome.

State election officials have said there’s no indication of fraud after three ballot counts and multiple investigations. Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump by about 12,000 votes in Georgia.

Perdue’s lawsuit echoes a case that also sought to inspect about 147,000 absentee ballots in Fulton County. Digital images of the ballots were made public earlier this year, but the plaintiffs want to review the originals.

A judge dismissed the prior ballot inspection lawsuit the day after Georgia investigators told the court they were unable to find any counterfeit ballots. Superior Court Judge Brian Amero based his decision on the legal principle of standing, that plaintiffs hadn’t suffered a specific injury that would give them a right to sue.

Perdue’s lawsuit will test whether a former candidate has standing in court.

“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,” said his attorney, Bob Cheeley.

Perdue lost to Democrat Jon Ossoff in a Jan. 5 runoff election. His lawsuit does not contest the election.

“David Perdue is so concerned about election fraud that he waited a year to file a lawsuit that conveniently coincided with his disastrous campaign launch,” Kemp spokesman Cody Hall said.

The case plays into Perdue’s campaign strategy to embrace the beliefs of some Republicans who think the 2020 election was illegitimate. Perdue is contrasting himself with Kemp, who refused to try to overturn Trump’s defeat in Georgia.

Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this article.