A Georgia judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against members of Fulton County’s election board, ruling that the plaintiffs, who alleged that there were fraudulent mail-in ballots in the 2020 presidential election, lacked standing to sue.

The decision by Superior Court Judge Brian Amero effectively blocks a small group’s efforts to inspect all 147,000 absentee ballots cast in the state’s largest county in November. It also comes one day after investigators testified that they were unable to find any evidence of fraudulent ballots.

News of the decision was first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In his dismissal, Amero wrote that the plaintiffs “allege their votes have been diluted due to the ‘substantial likelihood’ that fraudulent ballots were introduced during ballot processing for the General Election.”

“They also allege that the issue will persist in future elections if not corrected,” he wrote. “However, regardless of the veracity of these allegations, the Court finds Petitioners have still failed to allege a particularized injury.”

Robb Pitts, chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, welcomed the decision, describing it as “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 in a statement. “Its defeat here today should echo throughout the nation.”

The lead plaintiff in the case, Garland Favorito of the group VoterGA, said his team had “prepared diligently to present concrete evidence of our allegations and refute other false claims” at a hearing that had been scheduled for Nov. 15.

In a statement, Favorito criticized Amero’s decision.

“All citizens of Georgia have a right to know whether or not counterfeit ballots were injected into the Fulton Co. election results, how many were injected, where they came from and how we can prevent it from happening again in future elections,” Favorito said. “It is not adequate for any organization to secretly tell us there are no counterfeit ballots and refuse to let the public inspect them.”

In July, Amero dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims against Fulton County, the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections and the Fulton County Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts on the basis of Georgia’s sovereign immunity laws. But he granted a request by the plaintiffs to add the county’s election board members — as individuals, not as a collective group — to the lawsuit as new respondents, which allowed the case to continue.

Fulton County election officials and local representatives have repeatedly asserted that there has been no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, a claim perpetuated by former president Donald Trump, who has continued to baselessly allege that the election was stolen from him. President Biden won Georgia by fewer than 12,000 votes, the first time the state had gone for a Democrat since 1992.

Georgia officials conducted three audits of the 2020 election ballots, including a hand recount, which produced no evidence of widespread fraud.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Trump once again repeated his false claim that the 2020 election was marred by fraud. He warned that Republicans “will not be voting” in 2022 or 2024 “if we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020.”

“It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do,” he said.