By Carma Henry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, Defendant Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Secretary of State, filed an emergency motion for a stay pending appeal of the preliminary injunction issued hours ago by U.S. Federal District Court Judge Leigh May. Judge May’s order requires that voters whose absentee ballots have been improperly rejected due to an alleged signature mismatch have notice and an opportunity to resolve the issue to ensure that the ballot would be counted.
“We condemn this continued effort by Brian Kemp to resist relief that can help ensure that more eligible voters are heard this election cycle,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “This is a clear attempt to obstruct relief that is incredibly time-sensitive given the fact that we are mere days away from the election. While we will continue to fight on behalf of absentee voters who have unfairly had their ballots singled out rejected for an alleged signature mismatch, it is hard not to view this latest move by Brian Kemp as sheer gamesmanship.”
In his brief, Defendant Brian Kemp says that the additional safeguards ordered by Judge May “will add little value.” Additionally, Defendant Kemp says that the Plaintiffs’ interests in “receiving an absentee ballot and being able to vote by absentee ballot . . . amount at most to a privilege and a convenience, different in kind from the fundamental right to vote itself.” Judge May has ordered the Plaintiffs to provide a response to Defendant Kemp’s motion by noon on Monday, October 29.
“Secretary Kemp is defying the rights and interest of voters by appealing the Court’s order for a reasonable process that protects Georgia’s mail ballot voters from unfair rejection of their legally cast ballots. He deployed unreliable hackable voting machines, and is now placing impossible obstacles to the only method of balloting that can be recounted or audited— mail paper ballot voting. This level of egregious vote cancelling activity is not happening in other states. Georgians deserve a reliable way to cast their ballot despite Secretary’s Kemp’s efforts to deprive thousands of that right,” said Marilyn Marks, Executive Director of Coalition for Good Governance.
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