“The loss of a right to vote creates an irreparable harm,” the judge wrote said.
Dougherty elections officials now must count all absentee ballots post-marked by Tuesday and received by today, as long as everything else checks out. The county also is not allowed to certify its election results until Tuesday, which is the state-mandated deadline.
The Dougherty County Board of Elections had planned to certify election results today. Without the court order, only military or overseas residents’ absentee ballots received after Tuesday would have been counted.
Kemp’s campaign said the ruling would have no effect on the outcome of the gubernatorial race, and he has already claimed victory.
"Today's desperate ploy by the Abrams team to steal the election and undermine the will of the people fell short in Dougherty County,” Kemp spokesman Ryan Mahoney said via email. “Roughly 50 absentee ballots that arrive by end of day today but were post-marked by Election Day will be counted. As we have said since election night, it is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to force a run-off or a recount. This ruling doesn't change that reality.”