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Federal judge tweaks her order on Georgia absentee ballots

Georgia county election officials must stop practice for November election

ATLANTA – A federal judge has tweaked her order governing Georgia's handling of absentee ballots and applications that have mismatched signatures.

U.S. District Judge Leigh May on Wednesday ordered the state to stop rejecting the ballots and applications because of a signature mismatch without first giving voters a chance to fix the problem.

After hearing from groups that had sued and from elections officials, she made changes Thursday to her order affecting the November midterm elections. The order includes these changes:

  • Election officials must send rejections by first-class mail and electronic means;
  • Voters may have an attorney present identification;
  • Verification must be done before election returns are certified;
  • Results won't have to be recertified for appeals not completed by the certification deadline unless the election outcome would change.