A federal judge has ruled that Georgia counties must count absentee ballots even if the voter’s date of birth is incorrect or missing, and he is preventing the state from finalizing election results until that happens.
Although U.S. District Judge Steve Jones agreed with the Georgia Democratic Party and Stacey Abrams’ campaign on this issue, he ruled against them on two others. He will not require counties to accept absentee ballots with incorrect residence addresses or to accept provisional ballots cast by people who attempted to vote in a different county than where they are registered to vote. “Plaintiffs have shown that they are entitled to preliminary injunctive relief as to the absentee ballot (date of birth) issue,” Jones wrote in an order finalized late Wednesday. “Plaintiffs have not shown that they are entitled to preliminary injunctive relief as to the absentee ballot (residence) issue and provisional ballot issues.”
It is unclear how much of an effect Jones’ ruling will have on election results. Gwinnett County is already under a separate court order to count ballots missing proper birth-date documentation, and the Secretary of State’s office provided guidance to counties Monday that said they could accept absentee ballots missing a voter’s date of birth, although it wasn’t required.
Fulton, Cobb, Henry and DeKalb counties are among those who reported that their vote counts already include absentee ballots with birth-date discrepancies