Georgia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal from Republicans to block early voting the Saturday after Thanksgiving, CBS News reports.
Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, is facing Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a run-off after neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote in the general election.
Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger issued guidance stating it would be illegal to hold early voting the Saturday after Thanksgiving under state law.
Warnock and Democratic groups filed a lawsuit arguing that it should be allowed.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas Cox last week ruled that state law "does not specifically prohibit counties from conducting advanced voting on Saturday, November 26, 2022, for a runoff election."
State Supreme Court:
The state and federal Republican Party filed an appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court asking it for an emergency stay of the lower court ruling.
The state Supreme Court’s nine justices unanimously denied the request.
Republican groups argued that the ruling would “sow utter chaos” because not all counties would allow voting on that day.
“Some, but not all, counties offered Saturday voting on the day after Christmas during the 2021 runoffs and no ‘chaos’ ensued,” the Democratic coalition told justices. “If anything, it is the Intervenors’ eleventh-hour request that threatens to create confusion, as many counties — and now the Secretary’s office as well — have spent days promoting Saturday voting to Georgians.”
Early voting underway:
Early voting has gotten underway in some Georgia counties after strong turnout in the general election.
But with Democrats already at 50 seats in the Senate, the race has taken on less importance given that it will no longer decide control of the chamber.
Republicans are urging voters to turnout regardless after Republicans blew both Senate runoffs in 2020.
"When Herschel wins, we're gonna have a 50/50 Senate. Alright? Now it'd be better if we were at 51, 52, 53 but by him winning, we will be able to block some bad legislation because it takes 51 plus to get this stuff done," said Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., while campaigning for Walker last week in Augusta.