A federal judge has ordered Georgia's Secretary of State to extend the deadline to accept absentee ballots from military service members, their families and citizens living overseas.
The U.S. Department of Justice had sued the state saying Georgia didn’t allow enough time for absentee votes to be returned in case of a runoff election in the primary.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones says 'it is beyond dispute' that the state will violate election rules under the current system.
Seretary of State Brian Kemp says they will comply with the judge’s ruling to send ballots 45 days before the election as required by federal law. But he says it will take a few days to figure out how that will work.
Kemp says this could mean a delay in figuring out who won should there be a runoff. And that could have implications in November.
“It does cause problems on us being able to certify the election. It will take us longer to do that, which in turn will really push us to get ballots made for the general election before the 45 day deadline for the general election.”
Kemp says he’s disappointed the feds didn’t raise this concern earlier in the process.
“We’re already stretched pretty thin on getting ready for the election and everything that’s going on in this big election year. And obviously it being a redistricting year too, that makes it that much worse. But we’re going to abide by the ruling and get it done, whatever it takes.”
Kemp says it’s obvious from the court’s ruling that Georgia has a problem with its schedule of runoff elections. He says he will work with the state legislature to come up with a solution to ensure this won’t happen next year.