A sibling of the Democrat that used to be a Georgia state representative prevented a federal court from examining the integrity of elections in multiple subdivisions.
U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner blocked legal challenges to voter eligibility in Muscogee County and Ben Hill County from being heard at the Middle District Court in Georgia.
The sister of former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams sided with the Majority Forward nonprofit, founded by former Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias.
Elias accused Republicans of trying to “disenfranchise” at least 4,000 eligible voters based on unsubstantiated “change-of-address” data. He claimed voters who declared a new postal address should still be eligible to vote from their old residence.
“Defendants are enjoined from removing any challenged voters in Ben Hill and Muscogee counties from the registration lists on the basis of national change of address (NCOA) data,” Abrams Gardner said in the ruling.
The decision means the Peach State will continue to accept ballots from voters whose eligibility was questioned without requiring additional proof of eligibility in the upcoming Senate runoff.
“Defendants are enjoined from preventing any targeted voters from casting a regular ballot in the Jan. 5, 2021, runoff elections on the basis of NCOA data,” Abrams Gardner said.
The judge also granted a restraining order that compels the Ben Hill County Board of Elections to inform challenged voters in Ben Hill and Muscogee counties of Abrams Gardner’s decision.
“Defendants are required to make reasonable efforts to inform all targeted voters of the terms of the restraining order,” she said.
Elias commended Abrams Gardner on completely satisfying Majority Forward’s demands.
“BREAKING: In a blow to GOP voter suppression, federal court enjoins Georgia counties from removing 4,000 voters from registration lists and making them vote provisional ballots in upcoming run-off elections,” he said on Twitter. “[This is a] victory for Majority Forward and Georgia voters!”
However, the ruling astonished former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. He called the decision absurd because it effectively allows voters to move house and still cast a ballot from their old address.
“This makes no sense,” he said on Twitter. “A judge (the sister of Stacey Abrams) ruled that when someone tells the U.S. Postal Service, they have moved, they still can vote from their old address. Rules have no meaning anymore. This is nuts.”