A federal judge on Thursday ordered Georgia to temporarily reopen voter registration ahead of a hotly contested congressional runoff in the 6th District. U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten made the ruling as part of a broader lawsuit by a Washington-based advocacy group, which last month accused Georgia of violating federal law by reducing the amount of time residents have to register to vote. Voter registration shut down March 20 ahead of the deciding runoff June 20 for the 6th District election, which is being held in the northern suburbs of metro Atlanta. Batten, however, ordered registration immediately reopened until May 21.
A spokeswoman for Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said the office will seek to comply with the order.
“Brian Kemp swore an oath to uphold and defend Georgia law,” spokeswoman Candice Broce said. “That is what he did, and that is what he will continue to do.”
The suit, filed by The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on behalf of five civil rights and voting rights organizations, claims Georgia law cuts off voter registration for federal runoff elections two months earlier than it should be allowed to.