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Court rejects Georgia's appeal against Saturday early voting ahead of runoff

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 11/21/2022 Kaelan Deese

The Georgia Court of Appeals rejected the state's appeal of a lower court ruling that allowed counties to offer early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the Senate runoff between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Republican Herschel Walker.

Almost as quickly as the Georgia Secretary of State's Office filed to challenge the lower court ruling, the state appeals court rejected the state's appeal on Monday. "The intervenors’ emergency motion seeking a stay of the order of the Superior Court of Fulton County in the above-styled action is hereby denied," the court published in an unsigned order.

The decision means polls are allowed to be open on Nov. 26 in counties that want to host early Saturday voting ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff.

JUDGE HANDS WARNOCK VICTORY ON SATURDAY EARLY VOTING IN GEORGIA SENATE RUNOFF

Warnock's campaign and Democratic groups sued the state last week arguing that early voting should be allowed on Nov. 26, challenging guidance from Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who said state law doesn't allow early voting on a Saturday if a holiday fell on the Thursday or Friday preceding it.  The court's action on Monday is another win for Warnock.

Since Thursday is Thanksgiving and Friday is a separate state holiday, Nov. 26 marks the only chance for Saturday voting before next month's Senate runoff election.

Georgia Runoff 2022 © Provided by Washington Examiner Georgia Runoff 2022

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas Cox sided with Warnock's campaign and other Democratic groups. The judge ruled that the law cited by Raffensperger does not apply to runoff elections in the state.

In the appeal, lawyers for Georgia asked the Georgia Court of Appeals immediately to stay the lower court ruling from Nov. 18. They argued that Cox was wrong to consider a runoff a separate type of election rather than a continuation of a midterm or general election and also said the ruling was erroneous for procedural reasons.

Both candidates were forced into a Dec. 6 runoff after neither achieved a majority of the vote on Election Day this month.

Georgia's 2021 election law shortened the time between a general election and runoff to four weeks. Additionally, many polling centers in the Peach State will only offer five weekdays of in-person early voting beginning on Nov. 28.

Democratic superlawyer Marc Elias and his firm, the Elias Law Group, sent a letter to multiple Georgia counties earlier this month in an attempt to explain why Saturday voting in the Senate runoff is legal and in accordance with Georgia law.

The GOP is "desperate to suppress the vote in the Georgia runoff" between Warnock and Walker, Elias tweeted on Nov. 13.

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Jason Snead, executive director of the conservative-leaning Honest Elections Project, lauded Georgia's decision to mount an appeal.

“No matter how many times Marc Elias tweets it, this lawsuit is not about ‘voting rights.’ It is about skewing the rules to favor Democrats. Republicans, after all, won early voting in the Georgia and Florida midterms," Snead told the Washington Examiner prior to the judge's decision.

 

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Tags: Georgia, Raphael Warnock, Thanksgiving, Herschel Walker, Brad Raffensperger

Original Author: Kaelan Deese

Original Location: Court rejects Georgia's appeal against Saturday early voting ahead of runoff

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