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A long line in Atlanta for Georgia's primary election on June 9. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday ruled that polling places in Georgia must have at least one paper backup list of eligible voters, in case the electronic pollbooks used to check voter registration malfunction on Election Day.

The big picture: Voting integrity activists who brought the suit have argued the order could keep long lines, like the ones seen in Georgia's June primary, from forming again. The order also requires the state to have emergency paper ballots on hand in the case of voting machine malfunction.

What she's saying: "It is not too late for (election officials) to take these reasonable concrete measures to mitigate the real potential harms that would otherwise likely transpire at precinct polling locations grappling with the boiling brew created by the combination of new voting equipment issues and old voter data system deficiencies," wrote Totenberg in her latest order.

The other side: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the state plans to appeal the ruling, AP reports.

  • State officials "are preparing Georgia for the biggest election turnout in history, and it will do so successfully despite the constant distraction of litigation filed by activists determined to undermine the credibility of our elections," Raffensperger said.

Read the full order, obtained by Georgia Public Broadcasting, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper

Updated Jan 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrat Raphael Warnock beats Kelly Loeffler in Georgia Senate runoff

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Democrat Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler in the Georgia runoffs for the U.S. Senate, AP projected early Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's a massive, high-dollar win that brings Democrats one step closer to controlling the Senate. Democrat Jon Ossoff's bid against former Sen. David Perdue is still too early to call, per AP. Both Ossoff and Warnock need to win in order for Democrats to gain a potent 50-50 split in the Senate.

Facebook will resume political ad ban in Georgia after polls close

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Following the Georgia runoff elections, the Facebook ban that restricts ads on social issues, elections and politics nationwide will be reimplemented in the state, the company said on Tuesday.

The big picture: The company has been trying to adapt its political ad policies in real time to curb confusion and possible misinformation around the election results.

2 hours ago - Health

Government website for free COVID tests launches early

COVID-19 rapid at-home test kits. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The website where Americans can request free, at-home rapid COVID-19 tests from the government launched Tuesday and is now accepting orders.

Driving the news: The website went live in its beta phase and is operating at a limited capacity a day before its official launch. Every home in the U.S. is eligible for up to four COVID tests, according to the website.