Georgia judge allows Saturday vote in Senate runoff, after Warnock, Washington Democrats' suit

Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP challenger Herschel Walker are in a runoff race for a Senate seat.

Updated: November 19, 2022 - 2:46pm

A judge in Georgia has ruled that state law allows counties to offer early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving – the only possible Saturday before Election Day – in the Senate runoff between Democrat incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP challenger Herschel Walker.

The ruling Friday was in response to a suit earlier in the week by the Warnock campaign, the state's Democrat Party and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to the Associated Press.

Their suit argued early voting should be allowed Sat., Nov. 26, after a "bulletin" from GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger stating that holding early voting that day, a day after a state holiday, would be illegal. 

The Friday after Thanksgiving is also a state holiday.

Warnock and Walker are in a runoff race for a Senate seat.

The ruling by Fulton County Superior Judge Thomas Cox states Georgia law "does not specifically prohibit counties from conducting advanced voting on Saturday, November 26, 2022, for a runoff election," the wire service also reports.

Raffensperger's office disagreed with the ruling and said it was moving toward a "prompt appeal."

A plaintiff lawyer has argued in the case that Raffensperger and one of his top deputies said on national TV that early such voting would be allowed that day.

Under Georgia's 2021 election law, there will be only four weeks between the general election and the runoff. Early voting begins Nov. 28, with Election Day on Dec. 6.

The sides have argued whether the law, and the Saturday rule, applies to runoffs, also according to the Associated Press.