Federal Judge Orders Georgia To Reopen Voter Registration For Runoff Election

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 22: Voters line up at a temporary voting location in a trailer in the Arroyo Market Square shopping center in Las Vegas on the first day of early voting in Nevada on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (... UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 22: Voters line up at a temporary voting location in a trailer in the Arroyo Market Square shopping center in Las Vegas on the first day of early voting in Nevada on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images) MORE LESS
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Civil rights groups scored a victory Thursday when a federal judge in Georgia ruled that the state had to reopen voter registration for next month’s high-profile congressional runoff election between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten entered a preliminary injunction requiring Georgia to allow voters in the Sixth Congressional District to register until May 21 in order to avoid causing “substantial and irreparable harm” to “numerous voters.”

Five civil right groups, including the Georgia chapter of the NAACP, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, sued in April alleging that the state was violating the National Voter Registration Act by requiring voters to register three months before a runoff race.

The lawsuit charged that Georgia’s policy, which would have set a March 20 registration deadline, would keep “untold numbers of people from voting” in the runoff. The NVRA requires that voters be allowed to register up to 30 days before all elections, including runoffs.

Both parties have framed this special election as a proxy battle over President Donald Trump’s success in office. Trump has backed Handel, while Ossoff’s campaign has received donations and benefitted from the work of volunteers from across the country.

Ossoff secured 48 percent of the vote in an 18-candidate field on April 18, coming just short of the 50 percent he needed to win the seat vacated by Trump’s Secretary for Health of Human Services, Tom Price, outright. Handel nabbed her spot in the runoff with 20 percent of the vote.

The order, from a judge nominated by former President George W. Bush, to reopen voter registration for the June 20 runoff could help determine the outcome.

Read the full order below:

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Notable Replies

  1. Mother Nature, please wipe out ALL Republicans who support any kind of voter suppression. They are evil. Thank you. Tornado season is a wonderful opportunity, just a reminder.

  2. Just reminded me to go contribute to Mr. Ossoff’s campaign.

  3. All evil is transitory.

    Keep picking the bastards and their evil acts off (speaking metaphorically, of course), one at a time.

  4. The vote today in DC is a great rallying call. Sign 'em up!

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