In Gwinnett County alone, 1,587 mailed absentee ballots were rejected, often because they were missing birth dates, according to public records from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office. Across Georgia, election officials rejected a total of 5,147 mailed ballots.
The lawsuits allege that federal law prohibits discarding absentee ballots solely because of missing birthdate information. Votes could potentially be verified by matching their signatures and other information to government records on file.
In one of the lawsuits, a federal judge already issued a ruling to ensure legitimate absentee ballots are counted. U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May granted an injunction last month barring Georgia election officials from rejecting absentee ballots without giving would-be voters advance notice and a chance to rectify any issues.
Democrat Stacey Abrams is trailing Republican Brian Kemp in preliminary vote counts in their race for governor. She would need to gain more than 21,700 votes that haven’t been counted yet to force a runoff.