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Court overturns previous ruling that would have allowed more time to count absentee ballots

The overturned ruling would have allowed 17 Georgia counties to count ballots up to three days after the election - so long as they were postmarked by election day.

ATLANTA — With just one month to go before the Nov. 3 general election, a court decision has led to another important change in how absentee ballots will be counted.

A court has ruled that mail-in ballots in Georgia will not be counted after election day overturning a previous ruling a federal court made in late August.

That initial ruling said that 17 Georgia counties would be allowed to count absentee ballots up to three days after the election as long as the ballots were postmarked by election day. 

The Georgia Secretary of State appealed that ruling, however, arguing the lawsuit only named the counties that had traditionally higher support for Democratic candidates. 

And, on Friday, the 11th Circuit Court ruled the Senate can keep its deadline for absentee ballots which is 7 p.m on election night. 

The court said voters have plenty of opportunities to vote. They can request a ballot 180 days before the election and receive them 49 days before the election. 

The ruling also states voters have plenty of ways to turn those ballots in from mail and hand delivery on election day or by drop boxes. In the ruling, the court found "voters must simply take reasonable steps and exert some effort to ensure their ballots are submitted on time, whether through absentee or in-person voting" 

It goes on to say no one is disenfranchised by the current deadline.

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