Federal judge rules Georgia has to wait to certify state election, protesters calling to ‘count every vote’ arrested
According to 11alive.com, a Georgia NBC affiliate station, Judge Amy Totenberg of the Northern District Court of Georgia ruled in favor of a lawsuit brought by voting rights advocacy group Common Cause Georgia to delay certification of the Georgia governor race. The lawsuit accused GOP nominee Brian Kemp, who refused to resign as Georgia’s Secretary of State and therefore oversaw his own election, of failing to maintain the security of voter information despite Kemp’s knowledge of vulnerabilities in Georgia’s system. This follows on the heels of multiple allegations by Kemp’s Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams of voter suppression, and is good news for her as she is just 0.3% away from forcing a runoff.
Totenberg’s ruling requires that the state of Georgia establish a voter hotline so that voters can check the status of their provisional ballots, thoroughly review all provisional ballots cast, make available all information regarding provisional ballots to election superintendents. The current Secretary of State, Robyn Crittendon, cannot certify the election results until Friday, November 16th, and the ruling also sets forth that if Common Cause wants to take further action, they have until November 26th to do so.
Meanwhile, 15 protesters, including Democratic state senator Nikema Williams, were arrested on Tuesday while demonstrating and chanting “count every vote” at the state capitol building in Atlanta, according to NBC News. Williams told the Washington Post her arrest was “because I refused to leave the floor of this building where I’m a state senator.” Williams also noted that she was “standing peacefully beside constituents I represent.”
In addition to a charge of “unlawfully disrupting orderly conduct of official business,” Williams was slapped with a misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge.