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Injunction to Secure Georgia Elections Denied

A request for a preliminary injunction in the Georgia election security lawsuit was denied by a federal judge late last night. The plaintiffs, who have long been battling to have the state switch to using paper ballots, had their request denied by US District Judge Amy Totenberg.

In a 46-page order, Totenberg ruled against switching to paper ballots for the November election, but the court wrote frankly about the flaws of state officials and Georgia’s election systems.

“While Plaintiff’s motions for preliminary injunction...are DENIED, the Court advises the Defendants that further delay is not tolerable in their confronting and tackling the challenges before the State’s election balloting system,” Totenberg wrote in the order. She added that testimony and evidence “indicated that the Defendants and State election officials had buried their heads in the sand.”

“A wound or reasonably threatened wound to the integrity of a state’s election system carries grave consequences beyond the results in any specific election, as it pierces citizens’ confidence in the electoral system and the value of voting.”

While the preliminary injunction to secure the midterm elections in Georgia was denied, the judge’s recognition that the current system is critically unsecured is a partial win for the plaintiffs.  

“The court takes election officials to task for their 'head in the sand' approach to the extraordinary threat facing Georgia voters this fall and the little understanding they exhibited about election security. The court emphasizes that our case will move forward expeditiously with discovery in pursuit of a permanent injunction,” said the attorney for the Curling plaintiffs, David Cross, partner at Morrison & Foerster.

“Unfortunately, the court concluded that it’s too late to implement paper ballots this fall (the court noted that the timing of our motion for preliminary injunction was delayed by forces beyond our clients’ control). Ironically, the ineptitude demonstrated by certain state election officials in this case likely played a significant part in the decision that those officials could not manage a change now. We will continue the fight for all Georgia voters – and the Court makes clear that while we lost this initial battle, we are on track to win the war for safe, secure, transparent, honest elections in Georgia.”

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