The judge ruled that Georgia’s Senate election could be held on Saturday, November 26

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ATLANTA – Democrat Incumbent Rafael G. A Georgia judge ruled early voting Saturday in the Senate runoff between Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.

A The ruling was handed down Friday afternoonJudge Thomas A. Cox Jr. cited the Georgia election code provision cited by the secretary of state as barring Saturday voting that “does not specifically prohibit early voting in counties for the runoff election, Saturday, November 26, 2022. “

The court further noted that Georgia had “no statute addressing this particular issue,” but noted that the state legislature’s intent in omitting specific reference to runoff elections in the statute was “clear.”

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The ruling was a victory for Democrats and voting rights advocates who argued that the laws in question were vague and did not apply to runoff elections.

Officials in the Secretary of State’s office initially ruled that voting in this year’s runoff election could be held on Saturday. Electoral code Voting was banned on the days following the holiday. The Saturday in question is two days after Thanksgiving, and until 2015 Confederate General Robert E. A state holiday honoring Lee will follow.

Democrats sued Shortly after the state issued guidance to counties advising against Saturday voting.

“I am happy with the judge’s verdict. Obviously, I think it was the right call,” Warnock said at a rally on the Georgia Tech campus Friday evening. “We want every eligible voter to have an opportunity to vote, and Saturday voting disproportionately affects working-class people in a negative way.”

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“I want to encourage everyone to vote early and make sure your voice is heard,” he added.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger (R) said a ruling on the matter should not be the end of the road.

“We disagree with the court’s order and look forward to an immediate appeal,” Raffensberger said in a statement.

State Attorney General Chris Carr, a Republican, will decide whether to appeal the case. An appeals court could issue an injunction to prevent counties from allowing the Nov. 26 vote.

Walker’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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It is not necessary to rule that voting will take place on Saturday; Counties across Georgia must decide whether to hold early voting on Nov. 26, and that requires more time and resources from election workers and poll workers. More cases are possible if the case is appealed.

“The judge made it very clear that the text, structure and history of the Elections Clause are inconsistent with the state’s torturous, literal interpretation of the statute,” said Anthony Michael Gries, a professor of constitutional law and legal history at Georgia State University. It doesn’t make sense to use the same standards.”

Chatham, Cobb, Dekalb and Fulton counties have already passed trigger policies that would instruct election workers to vote Saturday if the court ruled it legal.

Sabrina Rodriguez contributed to this report.

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