ATLANTA – It looks like there will be early voting on a Saturday after all ahead of next month’s U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia.

A Fulton County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that holding early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day is legal and may proceed.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office indicated shortly after the Nov. 8 election that put incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker into a runoff that Saturday, Nov. 26, would be set aside for early voting.

However, Raffensperger subsequently declared that holding early voting that day would violate a state law that prohibits runoffs on any day immediately following a state holiday. Besides Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, Nov. 24, the following day, Nov. 25, is a state holiday.

Warnock’s campaign sued to force a reversal of Raffensperger’s decision and prevailed in Friday’s ruling.

“Allowing for Saturday early voting is a win for every Georgia voter, but especially for workers and students who will have a greater opportunity to make their voices heard in this election,” said Quentin Fulks, Warnock’s campaign manager. “We look forward to counties announcing that they will provide Georgians the opportunity to cast their ballots on Saturday, November 26th.” 

While Warnock held a slight lead over Walker following the general election, neither candidate captured a majority of the vote as required by state law to avoid a runoff. Georgia voters will return to the polls Dec. 6 to decide the winner.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.