ATLANTA, GA (WTOC) - Lawsuits and judges’ orders could throw a wrench into the Georgia election certification process, which is currently on track to happen between this Friday and next Tuesday.
Monday night, a judge issued a ruling preventing the state from certifying the election results before Friday at 5 p.m. State law requires the election be certified by next Tuesday. The order also requires counties to review about 5,700 provisional ballots previously thrown out over registration issues.
Third, it directed the state to add a phone number and website for voters to check on their provisional ballots. Common Cause Georgia, a non-partisan group that aims to protect voters' rights, filed the case.
Early Tuesday morning, a federal judge ordered Gwinnett County elections officials to count absentee ballots that were rejected for missing a birth date if the voter can be identified with other information on the ballot.
The order could have a big impact in a congressional race and several state races in metro Atlanta. The ruling also forced a delay in certifying results until this has been done. Tuesday afternoon, the county’s board of elections confirmed they won’t certify until Thursday.
A third lawsuit involves the Abrams campaign. As of Tuesday afternoon, no decision had been made on it yet. The campaign expects a ruling Wednesday by noon.
The lawsuit aims to force counties to expand the provisional ballots they accept, such as voters who voted out of county. They also want absentee ballots that were rejected for the omission of information like the signed affidavit to be accepted. The campaign said they found about 1,600 statewide outside of Gwinnett County that fit this category. The last thing the lawsuit requested is to extend the time for counties to “cure” provisional ballots, or the time where they confirm the eligibility of voters in question.
“The Abrams campaign stands with Georgians. In fact, we are fighting for Republican votes right now; we are fighting for Independent votes right now. We are fighting for all votes right now. The administration of this election that was a complete disaster impacts all voters," said Abrams campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, Tuesday. “We will remain steadfast on our mission to use the courts to use all aspects of our campaign on this mission which is so simple - count every vote. We will not be deterred no matter how long it takes."
The Kemp campaign has called the lawsuits frivolous and said it’s long overdue for Abrams to concede.
The Georgia GOP got involved Tuesday afternoon in response to that. They asked the judge to not allow counties to count other absentee and provisional ballots. They accused Democrats of trying to go around state law to count votes that should be invalid.
Abrams still faces an uphill battle. She needs about 20,000 votes to force a runoff. Her campaign said this is more about making sure every vote is counted. They are still holding out hope of forcing a runoff -however slim that may be.