Nov 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Georgia court rejects GOP appeal, Saturday early voting goes forward

A Georgia voter on Nov. 8, in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Georgia's highest court on Wednesday denied the state GOP and national Republican groups' attempt to stop in-person early voting on Saturday, Nov. 26 for the state's high-profile Senate runoff.

Driving the news: In an order Wednesday, all justices agreed to deny Republicans' request to overturn two lower court rulings, which determined counties may in fact hold in-person early voting this Saturday, following a lawsuit from Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Democratic groups.

Catch up quick: Democrats sued after Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office originally said counties could not hold Saturday early voting the weekend after Thanksgiving, citing a preexisting law that prohibits early voting the days after a holiday.

  • The court of appeals denied the state's first appeal of the original lower court ruling Monday. But then on Tuesday, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Georgia Republican Party took their case to the state Supreme Court.

Zoom in: In their appeal, the Republican groups argued that counties, "all of them Democrat-leaning," plan to conduct early voting on Nov. 26, "eviscerating the statutorily-required uniformity among Georgia’s counties on that day."

  • They argued that it creates "an unequal system, where some counties will vote on Nov. 26 and others will not."

Yes, but: As the Democrats pointed out in their response, some Republican counties also announced plans to hold Saturday early voting.

  • Plus, counties are by law granted leeway to decide whether or not to hold additional early voting, beyond the required Mon.-Fri. Nov. 28-Dec. 2.

What we're watching: Some Georgia counties have already begun early voting Tuesday and Wednesday. Nearly two dozen, including some of the state's largest, plan to hold in-person early voting on Saturday.

Go deeper: A guide to voting in Georgia's runoff.

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