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Election lawsuit: Breaking down federal judge's ruling on provisional ballots, election certification

More than 10 lawsuits have been filed surrounding Georgia elections. We cut through the legal mumbo-jumbo around one of them.

More than 10 lawsuits have been filed since last week's elections in Georgia. 

Most of them revolve around provisional and absentee ballots which, until recently according to some election experts, have not played a large role in winning elections. This year, however, they could be the deciding factor in some key Georgia races, including the one for governor.

11Alive dug into some key questions for one of the federal rulings, which was handed down late Monday by Judge Amy Tottenberg. It was filed Common Cause, a nonpartisan group, and relates specifically to provisional ballots. It claims the state didn't ensure voter registration security which, in turn, forced people to cast a provisional ballot on Nov. 6. 

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Tottenberg ruled the state cannot certify the election results before 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 in order to give officials more time to look at the provisional ballots in question. She also ordered officials to set up a hotline or website so voters can check if their provisional ballot was accepted.

Here are the prime questions following Monday's ruling:

Does this extend the counties deadline for certifying their election results? 

We asked Georgia's Secretary of State and they answered: No. According to Georgia law, counties must certify election results by the end of business on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The exception for this election was in Gwinnett County which is embroiled in its own lawsuit regarding the election.

RELATED: More absentee ballots to be counted in Gwinnett after federal judge's order

How/when will the hotline or website be set up?

The Georgia Secretary of State's office told 11Alive News they were working on this today, Nov. 13. No word yet if/when it will be operational.

If I learn my provisional ballot was not accepted, is there any recourse?

No. Georgia laws regarding provisional ballots have not changed because of this ruling. You still have three days after you cast it to provide Georgia officials with the information necessary for your ballot to count. Those three days have passed.