Post-Electoral Legal Fight May Be On The Horizon

It’s crunch time for candidates, but the US Senate election here in the Peach State is getting attention from national media outlets. It’s a neck-and-neck race that could potentially break either way or be forced into a run-off that would take place in January 2015 (#moarcampaigncommercialsinyourstocking). Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Democratic Georgia House Minority Leader Stacy Abrams have been sparring back and forth over accusations of fraudulent voter registrations collected by the New Georgia Project and Third Sector Development.

The Hill has an article that outlines some potential legal battles that both sides may launch due to 40,000 of the 80,000 registrations that the New Georgia Project filed haven’t shown up on the voter rolls. Secretary Kemp has stated that all valid registrations filed through his office or the respective county elections office has been processed and will be able to vote on Tuesday (or today, 10/31, since the last day of early voting ends today).

A legal challenge could erupt from this in the event the US Senate race ends up being a tight race and breaks for Perdue, but it would be complex at best:

Nunn and Perdue have been deadlocked in public polling, while Carter has been within reach of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) too. In both races, if neither candidate reaches 50 percent outright because of third parties they will go to a runoff, further complicating the potential for legal action as fights over provisional ballots would eat into the month allotted for the governor’s race and nine weeks for the Senate race.

“Provisional ballots are just wrought with peril,” one Georgia Democrat told The Hill.

Republicans are also keeping a close eye on the court wrangling, though it’ll likely be Democrats and civil rights groups who have to do the heavy lifting to get their voters counted.

You can guarantee that both the Georgia Republican Party and Democratic Party of Georgia are starting to silently lawyer up in the event things get hairy on Tuesday night. Thankfully, we don’t have chads.


    • Nathan says:

      jh, I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. I don’t believe they could early vote in person (voter ID law) or request a mail-in absentee ballot if they aren’t a registered voter.

      • jh says:

        Phrased awkwardly, I guess New Georgia Project would have better case if they had real people saying they couldn’t vote, instead of fighting over forms.

        I’m not completely understanding the situation though. Is Georgia blaming the counties if by election day, people still can’t vote?

  1. FranInAtlanta says:

    My take has always been that the registrations will magically appear on the rolls in time for a runoff. Note will that most (maybe all) of the “lost” registrations were turned into counties that are Democrat strongholds.

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