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Georgia governor race: Federal judge rules state must wait to certify election

Here are the three big takeaways from the judge's ruling.

ATLANTA —A federal judge just made a significant ruling in the legal drama unfolding in the aftermath of the Georgia governor's race.

Republican Brian Kemp, who was also overseeing the election as the Secretary of State, has already declared himself the winner of the race. Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams has vowed not to concede until every vote cast is counted. 

Late Monday night, Judge Amy Totenberg with the Northern District Court of Georgia ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by advocacy group Common Cause Georgia. The group sought emergency injunctive relief to ensure that "all provisional ballots cast by eligible registered voters in the 2018 general election are properly counted. 

The group alleges that Kemp, as Secretary of State, failed to maintain the security of voter information despite known vulnerabilities leading up to the Nov. 6 election. As a result, the lawsuit claimed, voters who took steps to register and maintain their registration may have arrived at the polls and not be permitted to cast a regular ballot. 

The judge ultimately ruled in Common Cause Georgia's favor. 

MORE: Read the judge's full ruling

11Alive obtained a copy of the ruling. Here are the three big takeaways:

  1. The judge ruled that the state must establish a hotline for voters so they can check status of provisional ballot.
  2. In addition, the state must conduct a thorough reviews of all provisional ballots cast.
  3. Lastly, all information about provisional ballots must be made available to election superintendents. 

Ultimately, the judge's ruling prevents the current Secretary of State, Robyn Crittendon, from certifying the results of the election until 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16. That deadline for certification had previously been Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. 

According to the lawsuit, if Common Cause wants to pursue further legal action, they have until Nov. 26 to make the next step.

MORE: Full election coverage

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