February 7, 2023

ADVANCE VOTING: Georgia voters SWARM THE POLLS after court ruling allows Saturday voting

ADVANCE VOTING: Georgia voters SWARM THE POLLS after court ruling allows Saturday voting

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Activists involved in the lawsuit that made Saturday voting available in the runoff between Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock say they believe this weekend is crucial, and that Republicans’ fought against it because of the danger to the Walker campaign of the young voters’ opportunity to weigh in.


Saturday voting clearly matters to Georgia voters, who are turning out to wait in long lines for early voting in the runoff election that will determine who the state sends to the U.S. Senate.

The matter was complicated by the Thanksgiving holiday, the timing of the runoff, and a state law that bars Saturday voting when the Friday or Thursday immediately before falls on a holiday.

A successful lawsuit by several Democratic organizations — Warnock’s campaign, the Democratic Party of Georgia, and Democracy Docket — ended with the state’s Supreme Court rejecting Republicans’ request to prevent Saturday voting.

The hefty turnout on Saturday raises the question — or, in some activists’ point of view, answers it — of why Republicans would be so determined to prevent polls from being open.

Marc Elias, of Democracy Docket, tweeted his view, saying that when voting is accessible, Democrats tend to win, and suggesting that Republicans, well aware of this fact, had an active goal to limit voting — particularly on a day when college students would likely be home from school and available to cast their ballots.

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From Democracy Docket’s press release:

“Despite the fact that election denialism, voter suppression and election subversion proved to be unpopular messages during the 2022 midterm elections, in one of their first post-election legal actions since the failed ‘Red Wave,’ the Republican Party intervened in the lawsuit in an attempt to prevent counties from holding early voting on this Saturday. After expedited briefing and a hearing before a Georgia trial court, the trial court agreed with the Democratic plaintiffs that Georgia law ‘does not specifically prohibit counties from conducting advanced voting on Saturday, November 26, 2022, for a runoff election.’”

Elias boosted and agreed with a tweet suggesting that Republicans had hoped to prevent college kids from casting their (statistically more left-leaning) votes.

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In another tweet, he shared a video of the long lines at one polling place, and said, “This is why Republicans fought so hard to block voting today.”

Neither Warnock nor Walker received 50% of the vote in the November 8th election, which ended with the Democrat leading by only tens of thousands of votes, less than 1% of the total. A Libertarian candidate drew about 2% of the total votes and is not included in the runoff.

US News is reporting that Warnock is still showing a lead in polls leading up to Tuesday’s election day, but voters’ enthusiasm in a runoff — especially after Democratic control of the Senate has already been won — is even less guaranteed than in the midterm races in general.

Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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