- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A Georgia appeals court says it is leaving in place a ruling that allows counties to offer early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. Senate runoff election.

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock sued after state officials said early voting could not take place on Nov. 26 because state law barred voting on the Saturday after a holiday on the preceding Thursday or Friday.

Mr. Warnock, the state Democratic Party and the campaign arm of the Senate Democrats said the law did not apply to runoff elections.

The Georgia Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas Cox that allowed Saturday voting to commence.

“The Court finds that the absence of the Saturday vote will irreparably harm the plaintiffs, their members, and constituents, and their preferred runoff candidate,” Judge Cox wrote.

Early voting will be offered statewide in Georgia from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, but counties can offer additional days.

Mr. Warnock is trying to keep his seat against Republican challenger Herschel Walker, an ex-football star backed by former President Donald Trump. Neither candidate got the majority of the vote on Election Day, so they are heading into a Dec. 6 runoff.

Democrats will have control of the Senate in a 50-50 split — with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote — even if Mr. Walker wins, though Democrats want to pad their majority with a 51st seat.

A spokesman for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the court has spoken on the Warnock suit, but it would like the state Legislature to clarify the issue to avoid confusion in the future.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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