As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten made the ruling as part of a broader lawsuit by a Washington-based advocacy group, which last month accused Georgia of violating federal law by reducing the amount of time residents have to register to vote.
Voter registration shut down March 20 ahead of the deciding runoff June 20 for the 6th District election, which is being held in the northern suburbs of metro Atlanta.
Batten, however, ordered registration immediately reopened until May 21.
We have discussed the implications of such a decision here at the Desk, and concluded that re-opening the window wouldn’t change the runoff electorate in any noticeable way:
From February to March, as the race was getting into focus, voter registration grew by 10,000. But in the final weeks to register, the net increase slowed to less than a quarter of that- total registration increased by less than 3300 from the start of March (436,636) to the deadline (439,909 registered on election day). The current figures stand at just 5,000 higher than what the district sported in the general election last year- and that was with a massive ground effort by Ossoff supporters. The most engaged residents who really wanted to participate in this race- and from the results we saw last Tuesday, there were nearly 200,000 of them- have already done so. This lawsuit would allow those who “just found out” about the contest, or who moved there, or who now suddenly are interested, to register thirty days before the June primary.
It’s difficult to believe that there are thousands of engaged voters that just didn’t register in time after progressives and Democrats swarmed the district throwing everything they could behind Ossoff to get him to clear 50% in the first round. There are probably a few stones left un-turned, but not in any concentration that would matter. Again, after all of the energy already expended to do so, they’ve inflated the registration numbers from November by a little over a percentage point. Even if it is the intent of some of the groups pushing this to get a second bite at the registration apple, there are only so many people you can find in a district who are both engaged and unregistered.
With seventeen days to register, it will be worth watching to see how many benefit from this ruling. I’ll take the under on 1200 voters.