A federal judge on Wednesday denied a left-leaning organization’s request to make changes to Georgia’s election laws.
The lawsuit, filed by the Coalition for Good Governance, challenged the new requirement which demands voters request absentee ballots no farther out than 78 days or at least 11 days before election day. It also sought to remove restrictions that would have been placed on election observers.
District Court Judge J.P. Boulee, denied the motion for a preliminary injunction against S.B. 202, the politically divisive Georgia election law that was passed on March 25, 2021. “The Court finds that the significant Purcell concerns in this case with respect to the July 13, 2021 runoff elections, including the risk of disrupting the administration of an ongoing election, outweigh the alleged harm to Plaintiffs at this time,” Boulee stated. “For the same reasons, an injunction would not serve the public’s interest.”
The “Purcell” principle, which helped frame the decision by Judge Boulee, is a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says courts generally shouldn’t change existing rules when elections are imminent. This is based on the Purcell v. Gonzalez case from 2006.
Executive Director of the Coalition for Good Governance, Marilyn Marks, made it clear that she will continue to ask the courts to step in before upcoming midterm elections.
“We’re concerned about the voter confusion that will no doubt occur with these little-known rapid changes to the rules, including the required information on ballot applications and the short deadline for applications to be received in this last week before the election,” Marks told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
When asked for a comment, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told National Review, “This is just another in the line of frivolous lawsuits against Georgia’s election law based on misinformation and lies. We will continue to meet them and beat them in court.”
Although Judge Boulee ruled against the plaintiffs’ request for immediate action, a separate DOJ lawsuit against Georgia’s voting law remains pending in federal court.
Currently, early voting is ongoing in two Georgia state House elections that will end on Tuesday.