OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Georgia Supreme Court has sided with Democrats and ruled in favor of allowing early voting this Saturday for the U.S. Senate runoff election in the Peach State
“The state and some Republican groups previously objected to having early voting this weekend, citing a provision in state law preventing in-person early voting on a Saturday if it preceded a holiday. Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP candidate Herschel Walker is set to take place Dec. 6,” Fox News reported.
“The state high court issued a one-sentence order ruling to allow early voting without comment. The Warnock campaign has argued that the provision did not apply to statewide runoff elections. The Georgia Supreme Court’s ruling upholds a lower court’s approval for the early voting accommodations,” the report added.
Republican groups called on Georgia’s Supreme Court to prohibit early voting this Saturday in the state’s Senate runoff between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Trump-backed Republican candidate Herschel Walker.
The GOP groups argued that state law dictates that early voting can’t take place on that day because it follows the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Georgia Republican Party, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the Republican National Committee filed an appeal with the state’s Supreme Court after an appeals court rejected a similar request from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. The Georgia Court of Appeals dismissed Raffensperger’s request on Monday. Raffensperger argued, and the GOP groups maintain, that state law prohibits early voting on Saturday if a holiday falls on either of the two days before. Thursday, Thanksgiving, and Friday are both recognized holidays. This coming Saturday will be the only opportunity to cast any early vote on a Saturday before the runoff election on December 6,” the Daily Wire reported.
“The court of appeals’ denial of the Intervenor’s motion for emergency stay allows the superior court’s interpretation of [state law] to gut the statute, sow utter chaos, and unevenly impact Georgia voters’ access to advance voting,” the Tuesday GOP filing says.
“The court has worked its will. We believe this is something the General Assembly should consider clarifying to avoid confusion in the future. I hope that election workers are able to enjoy a somewhat restful holiday despite this decision,” Raffensperger spokesman Mike Hassinger said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The U.S. Senate is currently locked at 50-50.
The Georgia runoff election will decide whether the Republican Party will maintain its 50-50 split in the Senate or if Democrats will have a 51-49 advantage.
“An AARP poll released Tuesday surveying Georgia voters found that Warnock has a slight edge over Walker, 51% to 47%. Warnock holds a strong 24-point lead among voters 18 to 49 years of age, while Walker is up 9 percentage points among Georgia voters ages 50 and over,” Fox News reported.
“According to the poll, 51% of respondents have a favorable opinion of Warnock. Only 45% have a favorable opinion of Walker, while more of the voters surveyed, 49%, have an unfavorable opinion of the political newcomer. The survey revealed that Georgia voters are more fond of former President Donald Trump than current President Joe Biden. Only 43% of respondents approve of the job Biden is currently doing as president, while Trump received a 48% job approval rating for his time in the White House,” the report added.
One Republican leader who has come to the aid of Walker is Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who handily won reelection earlier this month, beating serial Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams by an even wider margin than the first time they ran against each other in 2018.
“Look, we cannot rest on our laurels here,” Kemp told an audience of Walker supporters in a Cobb County, Georgia, parking lot on Saturday, Fox News reported. “Who do you want to fight for you in the United States Senate? Do you want a guy that represents our values like Herschel Walker, or do you want a guy who’s stood with Joe Biden 96% of the time?”
Kemp told supporters that the Trump-backed Walker would “fight for the values” of Georgia and will “run over” Warnock the way he crumpled defenders when he led the University of Georgia to a college football championship in 1980.