Groups Sue 4 Georgia Counties Over Early Voting for Senate Runoff Election

December 17, 2020by David Wickert and Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS)
Early voters stand in line at the State Farm Arena on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Voting rights groups have filed lawsuits against four Georgia counties for failing to offer sufficient early voting for the Jan. 5 runoff election. (Megan Varner/Getty Images/TNS)

ATLANTA — Voting rights groups have filed lawsuits against four Georgia counties for failing to offer sufficient early voting for the Jan. 5 runoff election.

The New Georgia Project and Democracy Docket say Bibb, Clarke, Houston and Paulding counties are not offering early voting on a Saturday during three weeks of early voting, which they say is required by state law. Bibb County also will not offer early voting on Dec. 31.

But election officials have said state law requires weekend voting only for a primary or general election, not for a runoff.

Runoff voters will decide who will represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate — changing or maintaining the balance of power in the body — and a Public Service Commission seat.

In a release announcing the lawsuits, the voting rights groups said the lack of early voting “threatens to disenfranchise voters in this critical election.”

The lawsuits were filed in the superior courts of the respective counties this week. They seek emergency orders forcing the counties to offer additional early voting.

The groups said several other counties also are not offering the required number of early voting days, and they are prepared to file additional lawsuits.

©2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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