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Loeffler, Perdue drop appeal in election suit over signature matching

An emergency injunction had already been denied by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

ATLANTA — Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue dropped their appeal in an election lawsuit that had sought to make it easier to reject ballots through signature matching.

The suit had been dismissed last week by the U.S. District Court in Atlanta, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had denied the Georgia Republican Party, the principle party on the lawsuit, an emergency injunction earlier this week.

The 11th Circuit had ruled in the denial of an emergency injunction that the Georgia GOP and senators lacked standing because they had "failed to demonstrate that any alleged injury is traceable to, and redressable by, the State," - as in, they hadn't shown the alleged problem with signature matching was the responsibility of the defendants they had sued, Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger and the members of the State Election Board, or that they had any authority to fix it.

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"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. And the Secretary does not have the authority to redress it," the 11th Circuit wrote.

A separate lawsuit the senators were party to, which had sought to separate the ballots of newly-registered voters voting in the Jan. 5 runoffs, was also dismissed last week.

While this dismissal applied only to the emergency motion, and the case itself could still have had its appeal heard by the 11th Circuit, the court's rejection of that motion cut to a fundamental deficiency in the suit that would have been raised again in a full appeal hearing.

So, Wednesday night, lawyers for the Georgia GOP and senators officially filed to drop the appeal.

The suit had argued that the signature verification process as currently instituted in Georgia favored accepting ballots, and that it should instead "put equal weight on including valid matches and excluding invalid ones."

They had asked the court to require the state to "implement signature review of all absentee ballots signature verification by three reviewers, in the presence of at least one meaningful observer from each political party represented by the candidates" and to prevent any signatures from being validated "where one of the reviewers objects to the validity of a signature."

This was what Northern District of Georgia Judge Lisa Wood and the 11th Circuit both determined Raffensperger did not, in fact, have the authority to do.