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Judge directs state officials not to reset Georgia voting machines

A federal judge on Sunday barred state officials from resetting voting machines used in three Georgia counties.

In the four-page order, District Judge Timothy Batten, a George W. Bush appointee, barred officials from “altering, destroying, or erasing, or allowing the alteration, destruction, or erasure of, any software or data on any Dominion voting machine in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee Counties.”

Attorney Sidney Powell, who brought the suit against Gov. Brian KempBrian KempTrump establishes 'Office of the Former President' in Florida A better response to political violence in America Refreshing the tree of liberty MORE (R), Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) and four other election officials, has alleged without evidence that Dominion election systems were tampered with by foreign governments.

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In a hearing on Sunday, the state officials argued that they do not have authority over county elections officials. Batten agreed to receive a brief from Kemp and Raffensperger detailing their opposition to a “forensic inspection” of the machines, and also ordered the defendants to provide the plaintiffs with the state’s contract with the company.

However, he also certified the temporary hold for appeal, allowing Raffensperger and Kemp to immediately appeal the decision to the 11th Circuit. He noted in an order on Monday morning that the case may benefit from an appeal, appearing to acknowledge jurisdictional questions about the lawsuit.

"The Court finds that its November 29 order partially granting Defendants’ motion for a temporary restraining order involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation," Batten wrote.

Batten said in a Monday morning order that he would hold a hearing on the case Friday morning.

The Trump campaign has distanced itself from Powell after her brief stint on its legal team, but President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' MORE has continued to repeat her claims and said Sunday he was “ashamed” he endorsed Kemp in 2018.

Harper Neidig contributed.