Close-up photograph of a man's shirt with a sticker attached.
Enlarge / A Florida man wears a sticker indicating that he registered to vote.

Florida’s secretary of state has extended the deadline for voter registration to 7pm right this moment. Registration formally closed final evening at midnight, however issues with the state’s web site prevented some Floridians from finishing their registration in time.

Laurel Lee, the Florida secretary of state appointed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, introduced the change after midday on Tuesday, giving voters who missed the earlier deadline lower than seven hours to strive once more.

Voting rights advocates sued Lee on Tuesday morning, arguing that the web site issues had disadvantaged Floridians of their proper to vote. They identified that Florida’s voter registration web site has a historical past of crashing below heavy masses.

The lawsuit says that Florida officers have been repeatedly warned that the issue was more likely to recur because the deadline neared. However based on the plaintiffs, officers did little to deal with the issue, and the critics’ considerations have been vindicated. Quite a lot of voters encountered issues with the positioning within the hours earlier than the midnight deadline.

Certainly, paperwork obtained by the federal government transparency group American Oversight display that this 12 months’s registration fiasco is a rerun of issues the state suffered in the course of the 2018 election cycle. That 12 months, quite a few customers submitted suggestions to Florida officers reporting that web site issues had prevented them from registering. “THIS IS RIDICULOUS,” one voter wrote in a July 2018 e mail thread with state officers.

In a follow-up authorized submitting right this moment, the plaintiffs argued that the 7pm deadline supplies “woefully inadequate time to coach voters and permit them to make use of” the state’s voter registration system. “Voters who’re busy with work and caregiving obligations want further time to make the chance to register to vote in any respect significant,” the plaintiffs wrote.

They’re in search of an extension till midnight on the second day after a court docket ruling. That will give voters at the very least 48 hours to finish the registration course of. The court docket has scheduled a listening to on the difficulty for 8:30am on Wednesday morning.

As I write this, Florida voters have about three extra hours to register—assuming the deadline is not prolonged once more. When you’re an unregistered Floridian, you may register right here or go to an area voter registration workplace.


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