ATLANTA, GA (CBS46) -- Georgia’s primary is now set for June 9, but that date could be pushed back again and the potential change is being met with mixed feelings.
Some say changing the date will prevent those serving our country overseas from voting absentee.
“I lived with the Iraqi Army as a military advisor and voted in a presidential election from Baghdad,” said veteran Garrett Cathcart.
Cathcart ran down his list of multiple deployments and his efforts to exercise his right to vote while serving our country.
“It’s incredibly important to participate in the democracy as a military person, for whatever party you’re affiliated with because they directly affect your life.”
But according to a press release issued by the Department of Justice, a pending lawsuit could impact that right for those currently deployed and wanting to vote in the upcoming primary.
“The plaintive has requested that the primary scheduled for June 9 be moved to June 30 and the run off still being scheduled for August 11,” said U.S. attorney general B.J. Pak.
DOJ filed a "Statement of Interest" for the lawsuit with the Northern District of Georgia, they say the move will help ensure that uniformed service members serving their country away from home can vote absentee.
Pak says the filing was necessary because if the change to primary date is granted as it stands, it will violate federal law which requires absentee ballots to be mailed 45 days prior to an election.
"Federal law has guarantee that they have sufficient time to request ballots so that if they want to cast their ballots absentee they can. So, we’re just merely enforcing and looking out for those folks who are living overseas to make sure their voices are heard in this important election,” added Pak.
But Coalition for Good Governance, the organization that filed the lawsuit to push the primary election date back to June 30 because of the pandemic, defended the decision.
In a statement they said, “Of course the essence of our lawsuit is about ensuring that all voters, military, overseas and those at home in every corner of Georgia to get a very fair and timely opportunity to vote safely. There are multiple ways to schedule the primary and runoff dates to assure that everyone gets ballots with adequate time to vote. We will be presenting those alternatives to the Court on Thursday."
As for Cathcart, who is executive director of Mission Roll Call a nonprofit fights for veteran centered policies, he encourages both sides to find that balance.
Thursday a judge will hear more details on the matter. CBS46 will bring you updates as we get them.