Warnock joins Democrats’ lawsuit to allow Saturday voting in Georgia runoff

Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Atlanta. Warnock is running against Republican Herschel Walker in a runoff election. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) joined Georgia Democrats and Senate Democrats’ campaign arm on Tuesday in a lawsuit filed to allow for Saturday voting in Georgia’s Senate runoff election.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) initially suggested last week that counties would be able to hold early voting for the runoff between Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 

However, Raffensperger’s office later walked back the statement, noting that Georgia voting laws block the state from holding an election two days after a holiday. 

A 2021 change to the Peach State’s voting laws shortened the runoff timeline from nine weeks to four weeks, meaning this year’s runoff falls on Dec. 6. As a result, the only Saturday available for early voting would be Nov. 26, or two days after Thanksgiving.

Warnock, the Georgia Democratic Party and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee argued in Tuesday’s lawsuit that Raffensperger’s interpretation of the law “mis-reads and cherry-picks provisions that have no application to runoffs.”

Instead, the group claimed that the holiday rule only applies to primary and general elections, not runoff elections.

“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,” Warnock’s campaign manager, Quentin Fulks, said in a statement. “We’re aggressively fighting to protect Georgia voters’ ability to vote on Saturday.”

However, Raffensperger hit back at Warnock and the Democratic Party over the lawsuit, accusing the group of attempting to change Georgia law based on their political preferences.

“If recent elections prove one thing, it’s that voters expect candidates to focus on winning at the ballot box — not at the courthouse,” Raffensperger said in a statement to The Hill.

“Instead of muddying the water and pressuring counties to ignore Georgia law, Senator Warnock should be allowing county election officials to continue preparations for the upcoming runoff,” he added.

Tags Brad Raffensperger Brad Raffensperger Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Early voting Georgia Georgia runoff Georgia Senate race Herschel Walker Raphael Warnock

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