Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., the Georgia Democratic Party and the National Democratic Senatorial Committee are suing the state of Georgia for closing polling stations on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, ahead of the Dec. 6 Senate runoff.
Although Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger originally said Saturday voting would likely be allowed in some counties on Nov. 26, his office told county officials that, upon further review, state law prohibits voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving .
“[I]If the second Saturday before the runoff election follows a Thursday or Friday that is a public holiday, no voting is allowed on that Saturday,” Raffensperger’s office told county officials in a bulletin last weekend.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, says Raffensperger and co. are misinterpreting the law, claiming it shouldn’t apply to runoff elections, which already give voters less time to vote than general elections and primary elections.
In Georgia, the Friday after Thanksgiving is a state holiday in honor of “Robert E. Lee’s birthday” (the treacherous general was actually born in January), but after a name change in 2015 it is now known simply as “State Day”. So Georgia’s Republican election officials are effectively using Thanksgiving and the specter of a Confederate general to thwart Georgia’s re-election chances of becoming the first black senator.
All of this is a Georgia Republican issue.
The voter-suppression law they passed last year (which is being investigated by the Justice Department) cut the time between the general election and the runoff by more than half – from nine to four weeks. The official window for early voting in next month’s runoff is just five days, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2. However, the lawsuit filed by the Democrats argues that not only should elections be held on November 26, but that Raffensperger’s interpretation of the statute also allows for the vote on the previous Saturday (19.11.).
Raffensperger and his minions rushed to defend Saturday’s decision. This includes Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer under Raffensperger.
Together, Raffensperger and Sterling have attempted to cover up voter repression in Georgia, seemingly to legitimize elections that have been systematically rigged in favor of Republicans.
But facts don’t care about their feelings.
Warnock has already received more votes than Herschel Walker in a head-to-head election this year. Republicans know their best chance of getting Walker elected is to keep turnout low. And they seem to be using every tool at their disposal to make it happen.