A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the state elections board Wednesday — part of a planned nationwide legal push against election officials — saying that the plaintiff failed to make a case and that they filed it in the wrong court.

The decision denies the plaintiff’s request to halt the administration and certification of the 2024 primary election, already underway, and the November general election because they allege problems with Maryland’s voting system.

Plaintiffs Maryland Election Integrity LLC and Missouri-based nonprofit United Sovereign Americans failed to prove that their case has standing in a federal court, according to court documents.

“Despite Plaintiffs’ numerous assertions of problems with Maryland’s voting system, this Court can begin and end its analysis with Plaintiffs’ standing,” U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher wrote.

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Gallagher’s opinion grants a motion to dismiss the case made by Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown on behalf of the Maryland State Board of Elections and comes one day before the end of early in-person voting and less than one week before primary Election Day.

Gallagher’s opinion cited case law to expose a litany of flaws in the plaintiffs’ arguments, including a failure to prove any of their members experienced “actual” harm but that the group simply alleged “generalized grievances.”

“The mere hypothetical possibility of a past, speculative injury does not give rise to a certainly impending injury,” she wrote.

The Maryland State Board of Elections deferred questions about the case to the Office of the Attorney General, and a spokesperson declined to comment.

Kate Sullivan is the chapter director of Maryland Election Integrity LLC. In a statement, she called Gallagher’s decision “disappointing” and said her “legal team is reviewing our next steps.”

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“The flagrant abuse of the ‘standing’ argument has become a lazy tool of the judicial system to avoid facing the undeniable facts that our election system is broken,” she said in a statement.

Sullivan said she has voted in every election since she was 18, including this year’s primary contest.

The lawsuit, filed in March, alleged that the state failed to keep accurate voter rolls and used voting machines with error rates beyond the legal threshold. The groups also complained that the elections board denied the plaintiff’s requests for election reports through Maryland’s public information laws.

In their initial filing, the plaintiffs asked the court to keep the state board of elections from certifying elections until their claims had been satisfied, among a long list of other requests. Gallagher denied their request.

United Sovereign Americans describes itself as “an organization of citizen volunteers working to ensure valid Constitutional elections that are fair, accurate and trustworthy,” according to their website. Co-founder and CEO Marly Hornik did not respond to a request for comment.

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After the Maryland lawsuit was filed, a spokesperson for United Sovereign Americans said the court case was the first the group planned to file nationwide.

Several post-election reviews have found no evidence of systematic voter fraud. A November audit faulted the Maryland State Board of Elections for a yearlong delay in reporting a small number of people who voted more than once or attempted to vote more than once during the 2020 election — something auditors attributed to staff turnover. The auditors also urged the election board to improve its processes for identifying deceased or duplicate voters.

Brenda Wintrode covers state government, agencies and politics. Before joining The Baltimore Banner, Wintrode wrote an award winning series of long form investigations for Wisconsin Watch.

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