Florida Governor Fights Against Extending Voter Registration

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).Screengrab / NBC News / YouTube


Florida's voter registration portal failed on the last day of registration amid heavy trafic.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is fighting to avoid extending voter registration after the state’s voter registration portal failed on the last day people could sign up to vote.

  • According to Politico, DeSantis and his top election official argued in a Wednesday filing with the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee that an extension would undermine the public’s faith in the November election.
  • Civil rights groups sued after the voter registration portal crashed on October 5 amid heavy traffic.

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ordered the state to respond to the lawsuit in advance of a preliminary injunction hearing set for Thursday morning.

Lawyers for the DeSantis administration, relying on statements from state and local election officials, said reopening voter registration rolls would cause confusion in the final weeks before Election Day, when President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will be on the ballot and officials predict record turnout in the battleground state.

  • Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee extended the deadline to 7 p.m. on October 6 after the portal crashed, but seven civil rights and left-leaning groups sued, arguing the extension was not adequate.
  • The groups also “admonished state officials for the site’s failure, saying online registration was crucial due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

All 13 Democratic members of Florida’s congressional delegation sent a letter late Tuesday to DeSantis calling on him to extend voter registration by one day, calling the initial extension “welcome but inadequate.”

“Those that logged on to the website on Monday, within the legal deadline for voter registration, should not be silenced because of this breakdown,” the delegation wrote. “Nor should those who seek to vote in November be penalized for failing to become aware of an altruistic, though hastily-crafted remedy consisting of just several added hours of registration availability.

“Without a robust, well-publicized extension remedy, this situation has the superficial appearance of being another example of the voter suppression tactics that Florida has sadly come to be synonymous with in recent years.”

Read the full report.


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