ATLANTA — Supporters of Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the presidential election in Georgia say they have filed a federal lawsuit that accuses top state officials of abetting voter fraud.
The lawsuit says Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rushed to buy new election software that played a big role in a scheme “illegally and fraudulently manipulating the vote count to make certain the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States.”
A separate lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Fulton County Superior Court, also seeks to overturn the presidential election results. And an Atlanta attorney has appealed a federal judge’s dismissal of his own effort to set aside the results.
It’s unlikely any of the lawsuits will lead to a second term for President Trump; numerous lawsuits alleging election improprieties in various swing states have proven unsuccessful to date, and the transition to a Biden administration has begun. But the lawsuits are a sign that some of the president’s supporters are not giving up.
A representative for Kemp did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. A representative of Raffensperger declined to comment, saying she had not read the lawsuits.
Like Trump, both are Republicans.
On Tuesday, Kemp decried what he called “baseless attacks” on him. Though he did not name her, Kemp appeared to be referencing recent comments by attorney Sidney Powell, one of the attorneys involved in the latest federal lawsuit.
“These are ridiculous,” the governor said. “They only seek to breed fear, create confusion and sow discord amongst our citizens.”
Raffensperger has repeatedly said there is no evidence of widespread fraud or other problems in Georgia’s election. This week, he said he voted for Trump and contributed to his campaign, but he said he’s now “being thrown under the bus by him.”
Powell says the latest federal lawsuit was filed late Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. The lawsuit does not yet appear in court records posted online.
The plaintiffs include various Republican presidential electors and party officials. However, one plaintiff — Cobb County Republican Party Chairman Jason Shepherd — told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he had not yet agreed to be a party to the litigation.
The lawsuit claims election fraud was accomplished by “many means,” but primarily through “ballot stuffing” by the state’s new voting software. The lawsuit contends the software was “created and run by domestic and foreign actors for that very purpose.”
It’s a conspiracy theory recently floated recently by Powell. The software company, Dominion Voting Systems, has repeatedly disputed facts asserted in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges various illegal acts, including improper processing of absentee ballots. Among other things, it seeks a court order requiring Kemp and Raffensperger to decertify Biden’s victory and certify that Trump won the election in Georgia. In addition to Kemp and Raffensperger, it names members of the State Election Board as defendants.
In the Fulton County lawsuit, John Wood, a Coweta County resident, claims tens of thousands of ballots were either not counted or illegally cast. The lawsuit seeks to void the election results and allow the Republican-controlled General Assembly to appoint the state’s representatives to the Electoral College, which will select the next president.
Wood is president of the Georgia Voters Alliance. Groups with similar names in other states have filed several lawsuits contesting election results.
Meanwhile, Atlanta attorney L. Lin Wood continues to pursue his own federal lawsuit. He sought to prevent state officials from certifying the election, citing improper election procedures. Last week a federal judge rejected that request, saying he found no evidence of irregularities that affected more than a nominal number of votes. On Wednesday Wood appealed that decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Story by David Wickert. Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this report.
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