Judge extends overseas voting deadline

Published On: Jul 06 2012 09:05:44 AM EDT
ATLANTA -

A federal judge has ordered Georgia's Secretary of State to extend the deadline to accept absentee ballots from military service members, their families and citizens living overseas in the event of a primary runoff election on Aug. 21.

The Justice Department sued Georgia last month over the issue. In an order issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones says "it is beyond dispute" that the state will violate election rules under the current system.

Federal prosecutors argued that Georgia's procedures are "inadequate to ensure that its eligible military and overseas voters can participate fully" in the runoff, should one be necessary.

Under Georgia's election calendar, absentee ballots for the runoff election won't be sent out until after the July 7 deadline, or 45 days in advance of the election.