Republicans in Georgia are outraged after a federal judge squashed their attempt to disqualify more than 4,000 voters ahead of the Jan. 5 Senate runoffs. According to WRBL, the court issued a temporary restraining order on Monday, blocking the plans of the election boards in Ben Hill County and Muscogee County, who aimed to remove names of people whom they claimed had moved out of state. 

In the attempt to disqualify “targeted voters," people who allegedly changed their address, the election boards relied on unverified data obtained from the National Change of Address (NCOA) registry. Majority Forward, a voter outreach organization, challenged the boards’ “targeted voter” decisions, saying the registry cannot be the basis for challenging the eligibility of lawfully registered voters.

"These flagrant and partisan attempts at voter suppression are part of a well-publicized attack on over 360,000 voters across the State of Georgia, initiated by True the Vote, a Texas-based organization, which has partnered with challengers in Ben Hill, Muscogee, and other counties to submit lists of registered voters whose names purportedly appear in the United States Postal Service’s National Change of Address (“NCOA”) database," Majority Forward stated in its lawsuit against the board. 

The complaint was also filed on behalf of Gamaliel Warren Turner, Sr., a permanent Georgia resident and Muscogee County voter who temporarily moved to California for a contract position with the U.S. Navy, 11Alive reported

"Mr. Turner is a Targeted Voter and his absentee ballot request has been marked as 'challenged.' Mr. Turner has not received any instructions regarding how to prove his eligibility to vote in the January runoff elections," the suit stated.

U.S. District Court Judge Leslie A. Gardner, who is the sister of Georgia voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams, presided over the decision on Monday, concluding the boards cannot remove "any challenged voters in Ben Hill and Muscogee Counties from the registration lists on the basis of National Change of Address data." 

"The Boards’ decisions to sustain the challenges risk disenfranchising thousands of voters," Gardner wrote, according to Law & Crime. "The challenges were submitted less than a month before the Runoff Elections. There is no evidence Defendants received written confirmation from the voter of a change of address, and the challenges did not include the individualized inquiries necessary to sustain challenges made within 90 days of a federal election.”

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday's ruling is a "direct attack on rule of law in Georgia and the integrity of elections in this state" and he "will not stand for it."

"Without even hearing from Muscogee County, a President Obama-appointed judge has decided to overturn the express will of Georgia law and the county elections officers around the state who follow it," Raffensperger said in a statement, 11Alive reported. 

The secretary said Gardner has a conflict of interest in the case, claiming that Abrams' Fair Fight Action organization has donated to the committee which serves as a nonprofit arm for Majority Forward. 

"We believe that the judge should have recused in this case. But as of yet, she has not done so,” attorney Jim Clark said.   

Donald Trump Jr. was one of the many Republicans who went to social media to argue that the judge should be removed because of conflict of interest given her relation to Abrams. 

Texas senator Ted Cruz said the decision to remove Abrams' sister should be obvious.

Georgia Republican Doug Collins also took to Twitter to air his grievances.

Democrats, however, called out Republicans for their hypocrisy. 

Meanwhile, others responded to the criticisms by saying that Donald Trump's sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, was a federal judge who retired because she was being investigated for violating judicial conduct rules by participating in fraudulent tax schemes, according to The New York Times.

Democrats also remember Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who refused to recuse himself from election oversight when running for governor in Georgia. 

As Blavity previously reported, Abrams raised more than $6 million to help voting efforts for the Senate runoff election. The voting rights advocate, who played a large role in helping President-elect Joe Biden defeat Trump in the November election, has been working with other activists and community leaders to flip the Republican-dominated state of Georgia. 

According to WRBL, more than two million Georgians have already voted in the election, which features Republican U.S. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler facing challenges from Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock

“Right now, there are ongoing attacks on voting rights in Georgia, and these lawsuits that the GOP is filing to purge the rolls, to remove drop boxes where people will submit their absentee ballots — these are an attack on Black voters in Georgia,” Ossoff said Tuesday while campaigning in Atlanta. “This is voter suppression. This is an effort to disenfranchise people."