Georgia court issues, then reverses order to prevent Georgia voting machines being ‘wiped’

On Sunday a federal judge briefly granted, then reversed, an order seeking to prevent voting machines being wiped in Georgia.

L. Lin Wood is suing Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and several members of the state election board over election improprieties. Mr Wood has made allegations of election fraud and sought an emergency order “that voting machines be seized and impounded immediately for a forensic audit by plaintiffs’ experts”. Wood also requested an order that “no votes received or tabulated by machines that were not certified as required by federal and state law be counted”.

On Sunday, US District Court Judge Timothy Batten the request for a temporary injunction. “Plaintiffs contend that Union County officials have advised that they are going to wipe or reset the voting machines of all data and bring the count back to zero on Monday, November 30,” Judge Batten wrote. To the extent Plaintiffs seek a temporary restraining order to preserve the voting machines in the State of Georgia, and to prevent any wiping of their data, their motion is granted. Defendants are ordered to maintain the status quo and are temporarily enjoined from wiping or resetting any voting machines until further order of the court.”

Within hours, however, Judge Batten reversed the order after being advised by the defendants that the machines were controlled by the local counties. “Plaintiffs’ request fails because the voting equipment that they seek to impound is in the possession of county election officials,” he wrote.

“Any injunction the court issues would extend only to defendants and those within their control, and plaintiffs have not demonstrated that county election officials are within defendants’ control. Defendants cannot serve as a proxy for local election officials against whom the relief should be sought.”

Judge Batten ordered Georgia officials to “promptly produce to plaintiffs a copy of the contract between the state and Dominion”. The defendants must file a response by 3pm on Wednesday, with an in-person hearing scheduled for Friday at 10am.

On Twitter, Mr Wood expressed frustration at the ruling. “Machines are owned by (the) state and (the Secretary of State) administers state laws on elections,” he wrote. “Why are Georgia officials determined to wipe these machines clean (by) resetting them?”