Federal Judge Orders Georgia to Review Thousands of Provisional Ballots

The ruling found “substantial likelihood” that Brian Kemp failed to maintain a “reliable and secure” registration system.

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

A federal judge on Monday ordered officials in Georgia to review thousands of provisional ballots that have not been counted, citing the “substantial likelihood” that Republican candidate Brian Kemp, who until last week was Georgia’s Secretary of State and therefore oversaw election rules in the state, had failed to “properly maintain a reliable and secure voter registration system.”

Judge Amy Totenberg’s ruling delays Georgia from certifying its election results until Friday. It also called for the Secretary of State’s office to immediately establish a voter registration hotline to assist voters in determining whether their provisional ballots were accounted for.

Listen to MoJo’s voting rights reporter Ari Berman explain what’s next in Georgia’s nail-biting race for Governor, on this week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast:

The development comes as a major victory for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who needs at least 20,000 more votes to force a runoff against Kemp. It’s estimated that nearly 27,000 provisional ballots were cast in the razor-thin election for governor. The lawsuit was filed by Common Cause Georgia, a non-partisan group that works to ensure fair voting practices. 

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the voters of Georgia. We are all stronger when every eligible voter is allowed to participate in our elections,” Sara Henderson, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, said in a statement. “This victory helps achieve greater voter confidence in our elections.”

You can read Totenberg’s ruling in full below:

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate