Warnock, Democrats sue to force Saturday voting in Ga. runoff
ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - There’s no Saturday voting scheduled in the Georgia Senate runoff, but a lawsuit aims to change that.
The Warnock for Georgia campaign, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Party of Georgia have filed a lawsuit to open early voting on at least one Saturday.
”Illegal attempts to block Saturday voting are another desperate attempt by career politicians to squeeze the people out of their own democracy and to silence the voices of Georgians,” said Quentin Fulks, Warnock for Georgia campaign manager. “We’re aggressively fighting to protect Georgia voters’ ability to vote on Saturday.”
There was Saturday voting and even Sunday voting during the early voting for last week’s election. There was no clear winner with 50% of the votes in the election between Democrat Warnock, Republican Herschel Walker and Libertarian Chase Oliver.
So Warnock, the incumbent, and Walker are proceeding to a Dec. 6 runoff.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s elections chief, said state law makes Saturday early voting impossible in the runoff.
Early voting for the Dec. 6 runoff is required from Nov. 28 until Dec 2. But state law prohibits the practice on the Saturday following a state holiday, in this case Thanksgiving. The weekend before the election is also off-limits.
“Advance Voting on Saturday, November 26th is prohibited by OCGA 21-2-385(d)(1), which states that if the second Saturday before the runoff follows a Thursday or Friday that is a state holiday, voting on that Saturday is not allowed,” according to a bulletin sent by Rafensperger.
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Early voting in the runoff can’t begin until the results from the midterm elections are certified, a process that’s expected to be completed by Nov. 21.
Raffensperger, a Republican, responded to the lawsuit.
“Sen. Warnock and his Democratic Party allies are seeking to change Georgia law right before an election based on their political preferences,” Raffensperger said. “Instead of muddying the water and pressuring counties to ignore Georgia law, Sen. Warnock should be allowing county election officials to continue preparations for the upcoming runoff.”
According to the plaintiffs, the state law distinguishes between primary elections, general and special elections, and runoffs. They say the exception for advance voting on Saturdays on or after a holiday applies only to primary and general elections, not runoffs.
“Republicans are once again attempting to rig the system to disenfranchise voters’ right to participate in our democracy,” said Christie Roberts, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director.
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