The campaign of Raphael Warnock, the Democratic Party of Georgia and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are suing over the recent announcement that state law prohibits Saturday voting for Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff.
“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, in a press release.
Over the weekend, officials in the Georgia Secretary of State office notified county officials that there would be no Saturday voting due to a state law prevents voting on the second Saturday before an election if there is a holiday on a Thursday or Friday. Thursday is Thanksgiving and Friday is a generically named “State Holiday.”
The State Holiday in November replaced a previous holiday honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s birthday, even though Lee was born in January.
More:State law and holidays prevent a Saturday date for early voting in Georgia’s Senate race
Runoff:Georgia secretary of state confirms U.S. Senate runoff, provides details
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sent out a statement denouncing the lawsuit.
“If recent elections prove one thing, it’s that voters expect candidates to focus on winning at the ballot box – not at the courthouse,” he wrote. “Senator Warnock and his Democratic Party allies are seeking to change Georgia law right before an election based on their political preferences. 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.”
Raffensperger initially suggested that the runoff would include Saturday voting, but due to a 2016 law, the office now says that it will not be possible. Counties may still choose to hold early voting on Sunday, Nov. 27.
The key argument in the lawsuit is that the legislation applies only to primary and general elections, not runoffs. They argue that elsewhere in the law, runoffs are specifically mentioned, so the omission should be considered intentional.
“(The law’s) exception for advance voting on Saturdays falling on or after a holiday applies only to primary and general elections, not runoffs,” the lawsuit argues.
Story Credit: usatoday.com