Tags: | Georgia | Senate race | runoff | election | court | voter

Runoff, Court Battle May Loom in Ga. Senate Race

By    |   Friday, 31 Oct 2014 12:17 PM

With recent polls showing Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue in a virtual dead heat and neither likely to gain the 50 percent needed to win outright, both parties, as well as outside organizations are preparing for a runoff  and a possible fight in the courts.

This week, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher rejected claims made in a lawsuit filed by the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights that thousands of newly registered, mostly minority, voters were lost in the system, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The "missing" voters had been registered during a six-month drive launched by the New Georgia Project, which is headed by Democratic state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, who has indicated her group would continue to fight through the courts.

"The only recourse the judge has allowed for these voters is provisional ballots and it's our mission to make sure every provisional ballot cast is counted," Abrams told The Hill. "My focus as head of the New Georgia Project is making sure that every provisional vote that's cast that's valid is counted and if it means going to court to do that, we will certainly do that."

Shortly after the ruling, activist groups were laying the groundwork for future legal challenges, saying that the ruling "guarantees" minority voters would be disenfranchised.
Abrams also indicated appeals, even an immediate request to the Georgia Supreme Court, were under consideration, according to NewsChannel9.com.

"This decision guarantees that there are going to be significant numbers of people who will be disenfranchised and not be put onto the voter-registration rolls even though they are eligible to vote," said Julie Houk, senior counsel for the Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, according to The Daily Beast.

The NAACP has charged that Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp of impropriety.
Dr. Francys Johnson, president of the Georgia NAACP, said after this week's ruling that Kemp "has taken a page from the playbook of Ohio and Florida, where we have seen those secretary of states put their hands on the scales of justice in terms of elections," reports Atlanta's CBS News affiliate.

Johnson said the NAACP is "exploring federal litigation under Section II of the Voting Rights Act, as well as under the National Voter Registration Act" and the group has asked the Department of Justice to intervene in the election.

"We are also fighting in the street making sure that everyone knows that they need to cast a ballot in this election and send the strongest signal to the extremists who run our government that they can’t play partisanship with elections. They have to put people above politics," he added.

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With recent polls showing Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue in a virtual dead heat and neither likely to gain the 50 percent needed to win outright, many are preparing for a runoff - and a possible court battle.
Georgia, Senate race, runoff, election, court, voter
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2014-17-31
Friday, 31 Oct 2014 12:17 PM
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