Notes on Georgia Pre-Election Litigation in 2020

(updated Jan. 12, 2021)  A March 6 compromise settlement agreement between Democrats and the Secretary of State clarified procedures for signature match and curing of absentee ballots [PDF].  After the Nov. 3 election, President Trump harped on the agreement incessantly and wrongly.

A lawsuit filed on May 8 by the New Georgia Project against the Secretary of State, the State Election Board and county elections boards focused on five problems with absentee voting [PDF].  U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross' ruling on Aug. 31 required that absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day "that arrive at their respective county’s office within three (3) business days of Election Day by 7:00 p.m." shall be counted.  The ruling applied to 17 counties, and Judge Ross rejected other points such as the claim that state should provide pre-paid postage for return of absentee ballots [PDF]. The state appealed the deadline question, and on Oct. 2 the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reinstated 7:00 p.m. on Election Day (+).

A lawsuit filed on Aug. 6 to address long lines pointed to "systematic and ongoing failure to provide an equitable distribution and adequate number of voting locations, suitable training for poll workers, sufficient staff, and technical support, sufficient time to set up polling locations...[PDF]" 

A lawsuit by Black Voters Matter charged that requiring postage for mail-in absentee ballots amounted to a poll tax (+).

A report by the Palast Investigative Fund released on Sept. 1 claimed that in 2019 "198,000 Georgia citizens [were] wrongly purged from voter rolls—using a system which tends to target younger voters and voters of color (+)."  In response the Secretary of State challenged the ACLU to provide the data and dismissed the report as "disinformation."  Additionally, the group American Oversight sued the Secretary of State for failing to respond to records requests (+).
Separately, a lawsuit charged officials in DeKalb County improperly purged the rolls (+).

–.  "AP Fact Check: Trump wrong on Georgia voter signature checks."  AP, Nov. 15, 2020.