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US court rejects Georgia’s appeal in absentee ballot case

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected the Georgia Secretary of State’s appeal in a lawsuit involving absentee ballots.

Friday’s ruling comes amid the hotly contested Georgia governor’s race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp, who is Georgia’s secretary of state.

Voting rights groups had sued over Georgia’s practice of rejecting absentee ballots and applications because of a mismatched signature is unconstitutional.

A district judge granted a temporary restraining order, blocking election officials from rejecting absentee ballots based on the signature issue without giving voters a chance to contest the decision.

The state appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which kept the restraining order in place.

Secretary of State spokeswoman Candice Broce said election officials are concerned that changing procedures this close to an election is inappropriate but will comply with the ruling.

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