- Former Sen. David Perdue is suing to review absentee ballots from 2020, according to The AJC.
- Perdue, who just launched his candidacy for governor, has been endorsed by former President Trump.
- Perdue’s lawsuit seeks to inspect ballots in Fulton County, a heavily-Democratic jurisdiction.
Former Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia, who on Monday launched his 2022 campaign for governor, filed a lawsuit on Friday seeking to inspect absentee ballots from the 2020 election, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In taking such a step, Perdue — who is running against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp in the GOP primary with the backing of former President Donald Trump — is amplifying the former president’s debunked claims of election malfeasance despite the October dismissal of a lawsuit that made some of the same claims.
The lawsuit takes aim at ballots in Fulton County, a diverse, heavily-Democratic jurisdiction that voted overwhelmingly (73%-26%) for President Joe Biden over Trump in the 2020 election.
Perdue, who served in the Senate for one term before being ousted by now-Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff in a January 2021 runoff election, has made election integrity a hallmark of his campaign.
The former senator on Wednesday told Axios that he wouldn’t have certified the state’s 2020 results if he had been governor at the time, setting up a direct contrast to Kemp, who refused to entertain Trump’s pleas to overturn Biden’s electoral victory in the state.
In his criticism of the state’s vote certification, Perdue contends that he wouldn’t have signed off on anything “with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now.”
“They had plenty of time to investigate this,” he continued. “And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated, and that’s all we were asking for.”
Last year, Biden defeated Trump in Georgia by 11,779 votes out of nearly 5 million ballots cast; the president received 2,473,633 votes, or 49.5%, while Trump earned 2,461,854 votes, or 49.2%.
Perdue’s lawsuit mirrors a case where the plaintiffs sought to review roughly 147,000 absentee ballots in Fulton County, with digital images of the ballots made public earlier this year. Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero in October dismissed that specific case after he ruled that the plaintiffs — including Georgia election systems critic Garland Favorito — hadn’t pointed to a “particularized injury” and lacked the standing to sue.
Favorito and additional plaintiffs are appealing the dismissal.
The public-at-large can now review ballots as part of SB 202, known as the Election Integrity Act of 2021, the state’s restrictive voting law that was backed by state Republicans, including Kemp. The law restricts ballot drop boxes to early voting sites and limits their usage to voting hours, and narrows the window for requesting an absentee ballot, among other measures.
The Department of Justice in June filed a lawsuit against the state alleging that the election law discriminates against Black Georgians.
Purdue attorney Bob Cheeley said that the lawmaker hopes to reveal what he believes were discrepancies with the results from Fulton County.
“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,” he told the Journal-Constitution.
The former senator’s competitors mocked the lawsuit.
“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,” said Kemp campaign spokesperson Cody Hall. “Keep in mind that lawsuit after lawsuit regarding the 2020 election was dismissed in part because Perdue declined to be listed as a plaintiff.”
Seth Bringman, a spokesperson for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, said that “while David Perdue conducts the conspiracy choir, Stacey will be focused on Georgians.”