Georgia appeals ruling on Saturday early voting for runoff

Judge Thomas A. Cox. Jr. listens to a plaintiff in a Fulton County Courthouse on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Georgia is appealing a judge’s ruling that allows counties to offer early voting this coming Saturday in the U.S. Senate runoff election between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.

Warnock’s campaign, along with the Democratic Party of Georgia and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, sued the state last week, arguing that early voting should be allowed that day. They were challenging guidance from Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that said state law doesn’t allow voting this Saturday because it’s the day after a state holiday.

That day is the only possibility for Saturday voting before next month’s Senate runoff election between Warnock and Walker. Thursday is Thanksgiving, and Friday is a state holiday.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas Cox on Friday issued an order siding with the Warnock campaign and the Democratic groups.

Lawyers for the state on Monday filed a notice of appeal to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Warnock and Walker, a former football player, were forced into a Dec. 6 runoff because neither won a majority in the midterm election this month.
Georgia’s 2021 election law compressed the time period between the general election and the runoff to four weeks, and Thanksgiving falls in the middle. Many Georgians will be offered only five weekdays of early in-person voting beginning Nov. 28.