(NewsNation) — Sen. Rafael Warnock’s campaign is suing the State of Georgia to protect Saturday early voting before Georgia’s closely watched runoff election for Senate.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims the State misinterprets Georgia’s voting laws by prohibiting voting on Nov. 26th. Officially, early in-person voting “must begin as soon as possible prior to the runoff and no later than Monday, November 28th.” With the runoff scheduled for Dec. 6, Georgians already have a small window to get to polling stations.
However, the state has cited the 2016 law, which says “if such second Saturday follows a public and legal holiday occurring on the Thursday or Friday immediately preceding such second Saturday … such advance voting shall not be held on such second Saturday,” in reference to Nov. 26, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Lawyers from the Warnock campaign, Democratic Party of Georgia and the senatorial campaign committee are arguing that this restriction only applies to primary and general elections, and must not be enforced for the run-off, which has a much smaller voting window. With Thanksgiving falling right in the middle of the voting period, many Georgians will get only five weekdays of early voting starting Nov. 28.
Granting voters an additional weekend to vote would help many whose employment restricts them from voting during the week, but Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his allies are adamant that they are following the letter of the law.
Warnock remains neck-and-neck with his Republican challenger Herschel Walker, as he fights for re-election. While Democrats have already won the effective majority of the Senate, flipping Georgia’s seat is crucial for Republicans to prevent Democrats from establishing a narrow lead.