Georgia Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Allowing Early Voting on Saturday in Georgia
The decision allows Georgia’s election officials to set up polling places across the state ahead of the midterm election on Nov. 6, following a ruling last month by a federal appeals court in Chicago striking down the state’s restrictions on early voting.
The ruling was signed by the judge on behalf of a panel of judges at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
The appeals court is not commenting on the specifics of the ruling because the decision is under seal, but the judges’ written reasoning offered some insights into why they sided with the state and allowed polling places on Saturday.
“It cannot be said with certainty whether the district court and the circuit court judges correctly applied the law because the district court did not issue a writ of mandamus directing the state to place polling places on Saturday, and the parties have raised questions regarding the interpretation of a number of statutory provisions,” the judges wrote.
Judge Paul Resnik, in the majority, wrote that the rulings of the lower court have, “undermine the State’s interests significantly because the State has not demonstrated that the district court’s erroneous interpretation of the law will have a significant impact on election outcomes.”
Georgia has three days to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court because the decision puts its ability to set up early voting places for the November election before the high court, officials said.
The case became a flash point in the state’s battle with the U.S. Justice Department to stop an order by a federal judge in Atlanta that would have allowed Georgia voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote on weekend ballots.
The order would have overturned the state’s one-day early voting law in an effort to help protect voters whose polling places are closed or shuttered.
Georgia officials said the Justice Department’s legal position represented “the latest in a series of attacks on voter’s rights” made by the Trump administration.