ATLANTA – Federal U.S. District Judge Leigh May ordered the state to stop rejecting ballots and applications due to signature mismatches without giving voters a chance to fix it. Judge May refuses to suspend her order governing Georgia election officials’ handling of absentee ballots and applications with mismatched signatures while the sitting Secretary of State – and candidate for governor – Brian Kemp, appeals it.
Judge May gave a procedure that would solve the signature discrepancies, insisting that they must be used for the November 6 midterm elections.
Kemp’s attorneys asked Judge May to suspend the order pending their appealed but she said Tuesday, October 30, that her order won’t burden election officials.
“The court finds that the public interest is best served by allowing qualified absentee voters to vote and have their votes counted,” May wrote in her ruling.
Significantly more people have opted to vote by mail this year than did four years ago, when about 107,000 absentee ballots were counted in the gubernatorial race. Already, more than 165,000 absentee ballots have been returned – and more than 100,000 are still out there.