Court Battles

Georgia’s Supreme Court asked to rule on Saturday early voting in Senate runoff

This combination of photos shows, Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 3, 2021, left, and Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaking in Perry, Ga., Sept. 25, 2021. (AP Photo)

A coalition of Republican groups on Tuesday asked the Georgia Supreme Court to overturn a ruling allowing early voting this Saturday in the state’s Senate runoff.

The Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Georgia Republican Party said a state appeals court erred when it blocked an appeal on Monday.

The groups had argued a statute that disallows Saturday early voting following a state holiday applies to a runoff, but a state trial court and an appeals court disagreed, permitting counties to move forward with voting this Saturday following Thanksgiving.

The case began when the Democratic Party of Georgia, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D-Ga.) campaign sued Georgia last week over the secretary of state’s guidance that early voting would not be permitted on Nov. 26 based on its interpretation of the statute.

Warnock faces former NFL star Herschel Walker (R) in the runoff after both candidates failed to garner a majority of votes on Election Day. Democrats have maintained their razor-thin majority in the Senate, but the contest provides the party a chance to expand their majority by one seat.

The Republican coalition quickly joined the state in the lawsuit, but Georgia did not join the groups’ latest motions to the state’s Supreme Court.

Following the appeals court ruling, the Republican groups argued the decision would “sow utter chaos” because only some of the state’s jurisdictions have announced plans to conduct voting on Saturday.

“Only ten counties — all of them Democrat leaning — currently plan to conduct advance voting on November 26, eviscerating the statutorily-required uniformity among Georgia’s counties on that day,” the groups’ appeal states.

The Republican groups reiterated their position that the rulings were at odds with the statute, arguing that the prohibition on Saturday early voting following a legal holiday still applies because the runoff is a “continuation” of the general election.

When reached for comment, a DSCC spokesperson pointed to a statement issued after the appeals court’s ruling from its executive director, Christie Roberts, Warnock campaign manager Quentin Fulks and Democratic Party of Georgia Executive Director Rebecca DeHart.

“This ruling is a victory for every Georgia voter, and we look forward to counties across the state providing voters the opportunity to cast their ballots on Saturday, November 26th,” they said. “Voters should visit IWillVote.com/GA to find their county’s voting hours and locations – and make a plan to vote in the runoff.”

Tags 2022 midterms 2022 midterms Senate Christie Roberts Early voting Georgia runoff Herschel Walker National Republican Senatorial Committee Raphael Warnock Raphael Warnock Republican National Committee
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