ATLANTA — The District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia said Sunday that all Dominion voting machines must not be ‘wiped’ or ‘cleared’ as questions still remain about the outcome of the Presidential election in the state.
Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. said defendants Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp, among others, are to “maintain the statue quo and; are temporarily enjoined from wiping or resetting any voting machines in the State of Georgia until further order of the Court.”
Later in the day, Judge Batten reversed his own ruling. Batten said the reversal was because individual counties control the voting machines:
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. On this basis, Plaintiffs seek a temporary restraining order to impound and preserve the voting machines in the State of Georgia, and to prevent any wiping of data. However, Plaintiffs’ request fails because the voting equipment that they seek to impound is in the possession of county election officials. Any injunction the Court issues would extend only to Defendants and t hose 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. Jacobson v. Fla. Sec’y of State, 974 F.3d 1236, 1256–58 (11th Cir. 2020). Therefore, to the extent Plaintiffs seek emergency relief to impound and preserve the voting machines, that request is denied.