By Associated Press | The Brunswick News | November 2, 2018

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal appeals court has sided with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia in a lawsuit involving absentee ballots.

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

The ACLU has argued that 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 throwing out 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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