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Federal judge denies group's request to expand early voting locations

Judge sides with Gwinnett County in early voting lawsuit
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A U.S. District Court judge denied a group's effort to get Gwinnett County to open its satellite voting locations during the first week of early voting.

Three civil rights groups filed the lawsuit last Thursday seeking a temporary restraining order to block the county from only have early voting at the county’s elections headquarters.

The lawsuit filed by the Gwinnett NAACP, the Georgia NAACP and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda was heard before Federal Judge Steven Grimberg on Monday.

Gwinnett Elections Division Director Lynn Ledford, who previously served as the county's elections superintendent, took the stand during the hearing.

Ledford was asked by the plaintiff what the county would do, should the court side with their request. The former election superintendent stressed the biggest concern would be to find an adequate amount of poll workers.

"If we could even get enough workers and get them trained...that would be the first objective," said Ledford.

Judge Grimberg told the courtroom that while the plaintiff is posing a potential burden on voters, it does not 'rise to the level of a constitutional violation'.

"Just because the right to vote is fundamental does not mean you have the right to vote in any particular manner or language," added Judge Grimberg.

Early voting in Gwinnett County began on March 2nd at the election headquarters and will expand to seven satellite locations on Monday for the following two weeks.

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