A judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking further inspection of alleged fraudulent absentee ballots cast in Fulton County during last year’s presidential election.

Henry County Superior Court Chief Judge Brian Amero’s decision came after Georgia election investigators found no evidence to support claims that fake ballots were found during a recount. Amero’s ruling ends the lawsuit and any hopes of a fourth recount. Attorneys for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told the court Tuesday no illicit absentee ballots were found despite some Republicans claiming otherwise.

The decision is the latest in a series of legal attempts to disprove the results of last year’s presidential election, in which Democrat Joe Biden beat incumbent Donald Trump in Georgia by some 12,000 votes. 

Wednesday’s ruling also serves as a respite for a county facing the prospect of a state takeover of its election process. The county elections office has been accused of years of mismanagement, long lines during elections, and other problems. Fulton Commission Chairman Robb Pitts called Wednesday’s decision “a win for democracy.”

“This lawsuit was the result of the ‘big lie,’ which is nothing more than a meritless conspiracy theory being spread by people who simply cannot accept that their side lost,” Pitts said. “Its defeat here today should echo throughout the nation.”

The lawsuit was filed by VoterGA, a nonpartisan election integrity nonprofit co-founded by Garland Favorito. Favorito, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, was unavailable for comment at press time.

But in an interview with Atlanta Civic Circle four months ago, Favorito said the lawsuit was filed because previous inspections were “not a full audit. There was evidence of potential counterfeit ballots. We want to inspect those to see if the evidence and sworn affidavits… are in fact correct.”

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