Georgia Supreme Court delivers victory for voting citizens who want to sue lawbreaking officials

by Summer Lane

Photo: Adobe Stock

Georgia netted a big win for voting citizens on Tuesday in a ruling from the State Supreme Court that reiterated the rights of the people. Via a press release from election integrity organization VoterGA, the court ruled that Georgia citizens and voters have the right and standing to sue government officials who violate the law.

Per their statement, “The ruling applies to individuals and organizations who have citizens, residents or taxpayers in a jurisdiction.”

The statement also included key findings in the ruling:

“Georgia has long recognized that members of a community, whether as citizens, residents, taxpayers, or voters, may be injured when their local government fails to follow the law. Government at all levels has a legal duty to follow the law; a local government owes that legal duty to its citizens, residents, taxpayers, or voters (i.e., community stakeholders), and the violation of that legal duty constitutes an injury that our case law has recognized as conferring standing to those community stakeholders, even if the plaintiff suffered no individualized injury.”

VoterGA co-founder Garland Favorito has been a staunch advocate of election integrity.

The findings further expanded on the “violation” of legal duties that can constitute “an injury that our case law has recognized as conferring standing to those community stakeholders, even if the stakeholder suffered no individualized injury.”  

They added, “And it is unsurprising that we have extended this logic to ‘voters,’ because they, like citizens and taxpayers, are community stakeholders. Voters may be injured when elections are not administered according to the law or when elected officials fail to follow the voters’ referendum for increased taxes to fund a particular project, so voters may have standing to vindicate public rights.”

The Peach State’s court ruling is impactful, especially considering the upcoming midterm elections. In September, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that the state’s “Election Integrity Act” (SB 202) had garnered a legal victory against groups challenging the law.

Via RSBN: “VoteAmerica sued Georgia over SB 202’s provisions that require third-party organizations sending out absentee ballot applications to include a disclaimer identifying themselves, prohibit the pre-filling of absentee ballot applications, and forbid sending duplicate applications to voters who have already requested absentee ballots.”

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