Warnock joins lawsuit to overturn Georgia's early voting restriction, allow Saturday voting

The Saturday in dispute is the one after Thanksgiving and two days before officially early voting begins.

Updated: November 16, 2022 - 9:35am

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Georgia Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock has joined a lawsuit to overturn a rule limiting early voting in the state on the Saturday ahead of his runoff election.

Early voting officially starts Monday, Nov. 28.

Warnock, who will face Republican challenger Herschel Walker, joined the lawsuit filed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Georgia Democratic Party after the Georgia secretary of state's office recently issued a bulletin saying counties may not offer early voting on Saturday, Nov. 26, according to GPB, a local NPR affiliate

The explanation was that a 2016 state law prevents certain Saturday voting if a state holiday is immediately before or after that date, which would include Nov. 26 because Thanksgiving is two days earlier.

Plaintiffs argue election officials initially said voting could occur on Nov. 26, then changed their ruling.

Election Day is Dec. 9. The runoff window once was nine weeks, but was cut down to four after a 2021 law.

“A couple hundred thousand Georgians voted on Saturday,” Mr. Warnock said at a press conference Tuesday. "And now we’ve got three weeks left and they’re saying no Saturday voting. I think it is a disservice to the people of Georgia."

Critics, such as George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley, argue that it would create problems later.

Turley tweeted that the plaintiffs "asking a court to override Georgia law is a virtual invitation for judicial activism." 

"One can disagree with the legislative choice on the starting date for voting but the lawsuit seeks to use the courts as a super-legislature in changing state law," he said.

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