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Federal Court Orders Georgia to Take Steps to Ensure Provisional Ballots Counted

In a voting rights case brought by Paul, Weiss and the Brennan Center for Justice, a federal court in Atlanta enjoined Georgia from rejecting thousands of provisional ballots based on the state's corrupted, purged and potentially hacked voter registration database. The court also ordered the state to review the ballots and barred the state from certifying the election results before Friday, November 16.‎

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Common Cause Georgia and alleged that the Georgia Secretary of State – and candidate for Governor – Brian Kemp recklessly publicized vulnerabilities in the state’s voter registration database, heightening the risk that voter registration information would be manipulated. At an emergency hearing on November 8, the Paul, Weiss and Brennan Center team presented evidence that the registration rolls were unreliable, resulting in an usually high number of provisional ballots.‎

Common Cause Georgia “has shown a substantial likelihood of proving that the Secretary’s failure to properly maintain a reliable and secure voter registration system has and will continue to result in the infringement of the rights of the voters to cast their vote and have their votes counted,” wrote U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg in her 56-page ruling. Judge Totenberg’s order requires Georgia officials to establish a hotline and website for voters to check if their ballots were counted; conduct a thorough review of provisional ballots; and provide detailed information about every provisional ballot cast in Tuesday’s election.

The Paul, Weiss team was led by litigation partner Robert Atkins and litigation counsel Farrah Berse, and includes litigation associates Nicholas Butto, Lauren Cullen, William Freeland, Jessica Fuhrman, Makiko Hiromi, Melina Meneguin-Layerenza, Kyle Sieber and Jake Struebing.

November 12, 2018

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