Civil rights and voting organizations filed a suit Thursday challenging a Georgia law that affects voting in a hotly contested special election runoff in June. The lawsuit alleges that a Georgia law prohibiting voters who weren’t registered in time for the special election from voting in the runoff violates federal voting law. The case could affect the heated race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, who are running to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, who joined the Trump administration. Ossoff finished in an election this week just shy of the 50% threshold against a crowded field of Republicans, meaning he and second-place vote-getter Handel advanced to a runoff election on June 20.
But the lawsuit, brought by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on behalf of five organizations, says that Georgia law requiring voters to have registered for the first round to vote in the runoff means that voters would have had to register by March 20 to vote in June.
The groups are seeking an injunction or restraining order from the court to immediately address the issue.
That law violates Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, the lawsuit alleges, which requires states to allow voters to participate in any election for federal office as long as they register at least 30 days prior. The primary requirement for the runoff goes far past that 30-day window, the lawsuit says.