ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia appeals court ruling Monday means counties can vote early in this Saturday’s U.S. Senate runoff between Democratic and Democratic senators. select. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.
The appeals court denied the state’s request to set aside a lower court ruling that state law allows for same-day early voting.
Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told county election officials that early voting would not be possible that day because state law makes Saturday illegal if there is a holiday before Thursday or Friday.
Last week, Warnock’s campaign joined the Georgia Democratic Party and the Democratic Senate campaign committee in filing the lawsuit Challenge that guidance.
Thursday is Thanksgiving and Friday is a national holiday. The Saturday after those two holidays is the only possibility for a Saturday vote ahead of next month’s Senate runoff between Warnock and Walker.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas Cox issued an order Friday in favor of Warnock’s campaign and Democratic groups. He found that the state’s cited law on voting after the Saturday holiday does not apply to the runoff.
Attorneys for the state filed the appeal Monday to the Georgia Court of Appeals. They asked the court to immediately stay the lower court’s ruling.
They argued in a court filing that the ruling was erroneous for procedural reasons and that Cox was wrong to view the runoff as a separate type of election rather than a continuation of the general election.
In a one-sentence order Monday, the Georgia appeals court declined to uphold the lower court’s ruling.
It is unclear how many counties will have polling places open Saturday.
Warnock and ex-footballer Walker were forced into December. 6 runoff because neither won a majority in the midterms This month.
Georgia’s 2021 election law cuts the time between the general election and the runoff to four weeks, and Thanksgiving comes right in time. Beginning Nov. 1, many Georgians will only get five business days of early in-person voting. 28.