Federal judge rejects request to stop Georgia runoff election

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to stop the Jan. 5 runoff election in Georgia.

Attorney L. Lin Wood Jr. filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta earlier this month, saying Georgia’s processes for handling absentee ballots for the runoff violated state law. Wood took exception to the state’s process for verifying signatures on absentee ballots, as well as plans to begin processing those ballots before Election Day and the use of drop boxes for voters to return their ballots.

State officials say those procedures are legal, and voting in the election - which will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate - has been under way for weeks. Nonetheless, Wood sought to halt the election until the procedures are changed.

In an order issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten Sr. denied Wood’s request for a temporary restraining order. Among other things, the judge said Wood lacked standing to file the lawsuit and his claims of potential voter fraud were “too speculative.”

Similar claims have been raised in several other unsuccessful lawsuits in recent weeks. Wood himself raised such claims in a lawsuit that sought to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election in Georgia. That lawsuit has been rejected by a U.S. District Court judge and by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, though Wood has appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it is still pending.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger welcomed the latest ruling in a statement Monday.

“The numerous baseless and frivolous lawsuits, funded by unsuspecting Georgians who are being duped by Wood, are just the latest in a long history of lawsuits to nowhere in Georgia,” Raffensperger said.