Georgia officials discuss Warnock’s lawsuit on Saturday voting

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 11:27 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - With how it falls on the calendar, there will not be a Saturday voting option in the Georgia Senate runoff.

Senator Raphael Warnock filed a lawsuit trying to change that.

In 2016, Georgia passed a law preventing voting within two days of a holiday. At that time, runoffs were set to happen nine weeks after election day, which caused no issues. That all changed when the Georgia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 202, moving the runoffs up four weeks after election day.

Gabriel Sterling with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office says we’ve always had a four-week runoff for state elections. The new law extends that to federal elections. If you want to change the law, he claims, you run for state legislature, not to a courtroom in the middle of an election.

“Right now, we have a law that basically says you can’t have voting on a holiday Saturday after a Thursday or Friday,” he said.

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Something Warnock is not in favor of.

During his ‘Your Vote is Your Voice’ news conference in Atlanta on Tuesday, he says Georgians not being able to vote on Saturday is a disservice.

“What we know is that some were planning to have Saturday voting. Here we find ourselves in this conundrum,” said Warnock. “We’ve got three weeks left, and they’re saying no Saturday voting. I think it is a disservice to the people of Georgia.”

Sterling says Warnock’s lawsuit is asking them to bend the rules.

“What Warnock is asking our office to do is to ignore the law, which is he trying to put his thumb on the scale for a partisan benefit, which is unfair,” said Sterling.

Travis Doss with the Richmond County Board of Elections Office says a change of rules this far in the game brings unwanted stress.

“There are deadlines that have to be met. You have to have your login and accuracy testing. The law requires that you put out a legal notice five days prior to logic and accuracy test testing. You have to finish three days before you can even use the equipment. At this point. We don’t even have the database from the state,” he said.

Sterling says the rules need to stand as they are to avoid confusion.

“For uniformity, fairness, and following the law, the secretary has basically said, you know, don’t try to win these things in a courtroom, try to win it in the living rooms. And that’s what all campaigns should be focusing on right now,” said Sterling.

Early voting will happen from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2. Sterling says everyone should have a plan and know when they need to be at the polls.