On Sunday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an abrupt appeal from Republican plaintiffs including the campaigns of Georgia’s two incumbent Senators, who want to force Georgia authorities to change the procedure for verifying mail-in ballot signatures in the state. Under current rules, two out of three election workers who are on-hand must agree that there’s an issue with a submitted signature before setting an accompanying mail-in ballot aside, but the Republican plaintiffs want to lower that threshold and require the assent of only one of three on-hand election workers before setting aside a ballot. Requiring one instead of two of the election workers to agree to setting aside ballots could result in more unfairly scrutinized votes.
Victory for voting rights and Georgia voters!https://t.co/UnAUYNJ94G
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) December 20, 2020
Voters get a chance to fix issues with their ballots after election workers set the votes aside, but issues remain. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the Republican plaintiffs did not have the standing to bring their case, which is the same conclusion at which a lower-level federal court recently arrived. The appeals court concluded that “the Campaigns did not sufficiently allege a redressable injury to establish standing,” because they named Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as a defendant in their lawsuit — but Raffensperger’s office is not responsible for the completion of the signature verification process in areas around Georgia. That responsibility falls to local election workers and countywide authorities.
Specifically, the Republican plaintiffs apparently wanted an emergency block on the district court’s previous ruling against them while further proceedings play out. However, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals said that the “Campaigns have failed to make a strong showing that they have standing to bring their constitutional claims because they have failed to demonstrate that any alleged injury is traceable to, and redressable by, the State,” no matter their challenge against Georgia authorities in the lawsuit over signature verification. Thus — with not long until Election Day in the ongoing Senate run-off elections in Georgia — Republican efforts to curtail voting accessibility have failed again.
The overwhelming majority of Republican-backed lawsuits in the aftermath of Election Day for the general election have unequivocally failed. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, Georgia’s incumbent U.S. Senators who are up for re-election in the state’s ongoing Senate races, recently expressed public support for a failed Texas-led lawsuit in which plaintiffs sought the invalidation of the election outcome in four states where Biden won, including Georgia.