Georgia’s top elections official is seeking a last-minute change to state law to ensure he’s authorized to set the deadline for candidates to sign up to challenge newly appointed Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler in the November election.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger wants to hold candidate qualifying for Loeffler’s Senate seat during the first week of March, spokesman Walter Jones said Wednesday. That’s the same window that candidates in other 2020 Georgia races must officially declare to get on the ballot.

But before Raffensperger sets that deadline, he’s asking the legislature to amend a state law dealing with special elections to specify that his office has discretion to decide the qualifying dates. He said he’s trying to avoid potential lawsuits at a time when Georgia courts are already busy with litigation challenging the fairness and security of the state’s elections.

(Photo: Bob Andres//Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

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