True the Vote: Abrams’ Sister’s Ruling Wrong on Law, Clear Conflict
ATLANTA, Georgia – Responding to a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner that suspended the efforts of Muscogee and Ben Hill counties to verify the eligibility of challenged voters, True the Vote today called on the judge to recuse herself from the case and encouraged the counties to appeal the decision.
"Judge Gardner’s ruling is wrong on the law, and the glaring conflict of interest – pointed out by Muscogee County – undermines faith in the judicial process,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, the founder and president of True the Vote, an organization that has partner with electors throughout the state to ensure that every legal vote is counted in the January 5 Georgia Senate runoff elections.
One of the defendants, Muscogee County, asked Judge Gardner to recuse herself because her sister, Stacey Abrams, has generated significant fundraising for the plaintiff’s organization and Abrams’ own group has filed a case dealing with the exact same issues against True the Vote.
"Georgia voters have every reason to question a ruling that doesn’t follow the law but does deliver for her sister’s political agenda," Engelbrecht said. "This entire ruling is based on the idea that these challenges are about removing voters from the registration list – a situation where the judge could apply federal law. These challenges, however, wouldn’t remove anyone from the voter registration list; the challenges are the remedy allowed under Georgia state law to verify that a particular voter is eligible to vote specifically in the January 5 runoff election. Federal law doesn’t regulate that, and the judge’s ruling should be overturned.
"In this case, Gardner’s ruling is based solely on the point of view of the plaintiffs. The counties involved didn’t even get to have their say. Perhaps a fair hearing in the light of day – as opposed to a decree issued in the dead of night – would have given the judge some insight on what’s really happening in these cases."
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True the Vote (TTV) is an IRS-designated 501(c)3 voters' rights organization, founded to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit www.truethevote.org.