Barwick’s ruling allowed the petitioners and Smith to re-file the litigation. Smith did not respond to a message left for him following the mostly virtual hearing.
David Lowman, who represented the county, said federal law prohibits Fulton officials from removing voters from the rolls so close to a federal election, making the hearings futile. Smith disagreed.
Even if Smith and the petitioners had gotten their way, Lowman said it would have been difficult to notify more than 14,000 people and then hold days of hearings during a pandemic.
Many organizations backed the county’s position: Georgia NAACP, the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, the Washington-based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the New Georgia Project.
John Powers, with the Lawyers' Committee, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the hearing he is pleased voters will be saved from dealing with the possibility of purges.
“It risks sowing chaos and confusing and disenfranchising eligible voters,” he said.
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