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Judge rules in favor of new Georgia voting law

Georgia residents fill out voting forms as they wait to vote early at the Mountain Park Activity Center in Stone Mountain, Ga., on October 23. File Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI
Georgia residents fill out voting forms as they wait to vote early at the Mountain Park Activity Center in Stone Mountain, Ga., on October 23. File Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI | License Photo

July 7 (UPI) -- A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against an organization challenging parts of Georgia's new voting law, citing ongoing runoff races in the state legislature.

U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee of the Northern District of Georgia said he wasn't willing to block parts of the law in the middle of state House runoff elections, which are scheduled to take place next week.

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"We are at the juncture where all of the challenged provisions are already the law," he wrote in the order. "Therefore, an injunction would not merely preserve the status quo; rather, it would change the law in the ninth inning."

Boulee, though, left open the possibility to rule on the matter in the future.

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"The court reserves judgment regarding the propriety of relief as to future elections and will issue a separate order on this question at a later date," he wrote.

The lawsuit, filed by Coalition for Good Governance, is separate from a Justice Department legal challenge to the new law passed in March. The law imposes voter ID requirements, limits ballot drop boxes and allows the state to take over local elections.

Critics argue the new restrictions place undue hardship on people of color.

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President Joe Biden won Georgia's electoral votes and both Senate seats turned blue in the 2020 election, prompting former President Donald Trump to baselessly decry voter fraud in the state. Trump accused the state of allowing thousands of illegal ballots but a recount and audit confirmed Biden's narrow win.

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