The Judge Who Blocked a Voter Purge in Georgia Has an Interesting Tie to Stacey Abrams

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Posted: Dec 29, 2020 6:10 PM
The Judge Who Blocked a Voter Purge in Georgia Has an Interesting Tie to Stacey Abrams

Source: AP Photo/John Bazemore

A conservative effort to ensure people don’t illegally vote hit a snag when a district judge blocked two Georgia counties from purging thousands of voters from local rolls who might have moved out of the county. The basis for the legal challenge from True The Vote is grounded in the United States Postal Service’s National Change of Address registry, which Majority Forward, a liberal voter advocacy group, said was unreliable. Yet, the judge has an interesting tie to Stacey Abrams, a rising star in the Democratic Party for her failed 2018 gubernatorial run. The judge who issued the ruling in favor of Majority Forward is her sister (via CBS News):

A federal judge in Georgia on Monday blocked two Georgia counties from removing more than 4,000 registered voters from their rolls and preventing them from casting a regular ballot in the January 5 runoff elections, which will determine which party controls the Senate.

U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner sided with Majority Forward, a voter registration group, and Gamaliel Warren Turner, a Georgia voter, in their challenge to efforts by the boards of elections in Ben Hill County and Muscogee County that targeted a total of 4,185 registered voters.

Gardner, sister of voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, wrote the boards' decisions to sustain challenges to the voters' eligibility "risk disenfranchising thousands of voters."

[…]

The legal battle stemmed from a coordinated effort spearheaded by True the Vote, a conservative group, that worked with voters across all of Georgia's 159 counties to challenge the eligibility of more than 364,000 voters in all.

Abrams might have had many rolling their eyes when she refused to concede the 2018 gubernatorial election. And when she was positioning herself to be Joe Biden’s running mate, but she’s built quite a network in the Peach State that has been able to turn out Democratic voters in droves. It’s an operation that was lethal in 2020 and could be again on January 5 when Georgia’s Senate runoffs begin. These races will determine whether Biden will be more or less a caretaker president working with a Republican Senate that will block most of the insane aspects of his agenda, or whether this will lead to the Democrats nuking the legislative filibuster in the upper chamber that would set the stage for a parade of legislative horribles to follow. Either way, it looks like legal challenges, and there are bound to be some in this runoff, might also be doomed with Abrams’ sister as a federal judge in the state.