On Sunday, Georgia voters sued public officials who failed to send out absentee ballots in Cobb County, causing over 1,000 people to lose their fundamental right to vote in the midterms.

On November 5, Cob County officials confirmed that over 1,000 absentee ballots had not been sent out. In a statement, Elections and Registrations Director Janine Eveler addressed the major mistake, attributing it to overworked staff members.

“I am sorry that this office let these voters down,” said Eveler. “Many of the absentee staff have been averaging 80 or more hours per week, and they are exhausted. Still, that is no excuse for such a critical error.”

Eveler’s office reported that it would be sending the ballots overnight to the voters who have out-of-state addresses.

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After this information was made public, residents Madison Cook, Tessa Parker, Margaret Wolfe, and Linda Walton filed a lawsuit in Cobb County Superior Court against the Cobb County Board of Elections & Registration, Cobb County officials, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and members of the Georgia State Election Board.

The lawsuit reads, “Absent such relief, Plaintiff voters, and all those similarly situated, will be disenfranchised – an injury that money cannot compensate. Public interest will be served by ensuring voters have the opportunity to vote and have their votes counted.”

The attorneys representing the Georgia voters pushed for the absentee ballot deadline to be pushed back to November 14.

“Hundreds of eligible Cobb County voters did everything right and yet find themselves on the brink of total disenfranchisement because they were never mailed their absentee ballots, as is required under Georgia law. Even Cobb County has acknowledged they made a ‘critical error’ and ‘let these voters down,'” said attorney Jonathan Topaz. “Only this court can right the wrong done to these hundreds of voters and ensure that they are able to exercise their fundamental right to vote in this November election.”

On Monday, just one day before Election Day, a Georgia judge ruled to extend the deadline to accept absentee ballots to November 14, per the plaintiffs’ request.

Cobb County Superior Court Judge Kellie Hill ordered that all affected voters are to be sent ballots overnight if they have not already been sent. Hill also ruled that all affected voters will be allowed to vote in person, via replacement ballot, or by federal write-in absentee ballot.

Following Hill’s ruling, Topaz said, “This is an important result for these Cobb County voters, who through no fault of their own did not receive the absentee ballots to which they were legally entitled.”

“We will fight to ensure that this agreement is fully enforced and that these voters have the opportunity to exercise their fundamental right to vote in the November election,” Topaz added.

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