Trump falsely claims he has won election and demands Supreme Court stops more ballots being counted
Donald Trump has lost his first challenge to electoral processes after a judge in Georgia dismissed his case
The case was filed on Wednesday in Chatham County, after a Republican witness said, without providing evidence, that he did not know whether a pile of 53 ballots were received on time.
On Thursday morning Judge James Bass dismissed the case in a one-sentence ruling, without giving his reasoning.
“After listening to the evidence, I’m denying the request, dismissing the petition, thank you gentlemen,” he concluded at the end of the hour-long hearing in Savannah.
In their complaint, the Trump campaign argued: “Failing to ensure that absentee ballots received after the deadline are stored in a manner to ensure that such ballots are not inadvertently or intentionally counted, as required under Georgia law, harms the interests of the Trump Campaign and President Trump because it could lead to the dilution of legal votes cast in support of President Trump.”
The complaint also contained a sworn declaration by a poll watcher named Sean Pumphrey with a “vague account about a stack of 53 ballots,” according to lawandcrime.com.
He alleged, but provided no evidence of, impropriety.
Mr Pumphrey said he saw 53 ballots placed on a table separate from ballots in bins ready to go out to be counted.
Ben Perkins, a lawyer representing Chatham County, asked Mr Pumphrey if he had evidence those ballots arrived after 7pm on Election Day, and Mr Pumphrey said he did not know.
The board’s witness said the ballots were indeed received on time, and Sabrina German, the director of Chatham County’s Voter Registration Office, backed up the board witness’s testimony.
Jeff Harris, from the Democratic Party of Georgia, said that both of the Republican witnesses conceded they had no idea about when those 53 ballots were received.
“They have been flatly incapable of proffering competent evidence to prove that point,” he said.
“Courts don’t resolve disputes about whether something may or may not be happening.”
Georgia is proving to be a fascinating, and surprising, hot spot in the election.
Georgia has been reliably Republican since 1972, except when a southern Democrat was on the ticket – Georgians sided with native son Jimmy Carter in 1976 and 1980 and Bill Clinton in 1992.
In 2016, Mr Trump won Georgia with 51 per cent of the vote, while Hillary Clinton received 46 per cent.
With 99 per cent counted, Mr Trump’s early comfortable lead had vanished, and Mr Biden was only 0.3 per cent behind him, as of noon on Thursday, according to AP.
Mr Trump was on 49.5 per cent, or 2,436,006 votes.
Mr Biden had 49.2 per cent, or 2,422,467 votes.
In Georgia a recount is not automatic, but can be requested if less than 0.5 per cent separates the two candidates.