Appeals Court Swats Down GOP Attempt To Resurrect GA Signature Match Lawsuit

CUMMING, GA - DECEMBER 20: Georgia Republican Senate candidates David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) listen to former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speak during a rally on December 20, 2020 in Cumming, Georgia... CUMMING, GA - DECEMBER 20: Georgia Republican Senate candidates David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) listen to former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speak during a rally on December 20, 2020 in Cumming, Georgia. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images) MORE LESS
December 21, 2020 12:26 p.m.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Republicans’ attempt to resurrect a lawsuit targeting Georgia’s signature-matching process days after a federal judge shot it down initially.

Last week, Judge Eleanor Ross of the Northern District of Georgia found that the plaintiffs — including the state Republican party, National Republican Senatorial committee and committees for Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) — lacked standing to bring the suit.

The appeals court on Sunday agreed, finding that the Republican group failed to show how Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the state elections board, the defendants, are responsible for alleged signature matching issues or the changes the plaintiffs want.

“Since the Secretary and the election board do not conduct the signature matching process, are not the election officials that review the voter’s signature, and do not control whether the signature matching process can be observed, the Campaigns’ alleged injury is not traceable to the Secretary,” a three-judge panel wrote.

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The plaintiffs sought to change the rules so three election officials have to check the signature match instead of one — an attempt to get more absentee ballots, which heavily favored the Democrats in the general election, tossed.

The defeat is just the latest in a string of rejected Republican attempts to throw a wrench into the state’s election machinery even as hundreds of thousands of Georgians have already cast their ballots.

Last week, Republicans were defeated on three attempts in two days, all lawsuits at the federal level targeting features like drop boxes and the signature match system, or in one extreme case, trying to lay the groundwork to get votes cast by new registrants investigated and possibly invalidated.

But even as lawsuit after lawsuit has been tossed onto the scrap pile, Republicans keep grasping handfuls of straws and flinging them into more hastily-written challenges.

This weekend, the newest effort was spearheaded by Lin Wood, the conspiratorial-minded celebrity lawyer who became a right-wing cause célèbre with his attempts to get the presidential election overturned for the Trump campaign in Georgia.

His latest pro-se lawsuit was focused on the runoff and riddled with ridiculous mistakes — see his signature under “plenty of perjury” — and takes aim at various machinery of the election including the processing of mail-in votes and electronic voting machines.

Wood even invokes the specter of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in his regurgitation of a conspiracy theory involving Dominion voting machines that is popular in fringier MAGA circles.

As the Republicans keep launching their increasingly fantastical attempts to get ballots tossed out, over a million Georgians have already voted in the runoff.

Read the appeals court ruling here:

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