Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis extended the deadline for registering Floridians to vote after the state’s registration website crashed due to heavy traffic.
Registration closes on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Today I issued a policy to reopen Florida’s registration deadline for voters to vote in the general election on November 3rd before 7:00 p.m. EST for online motions and by 7:00 p.m. local time for personal registration today, October 6th. More: https://t.co/7kK8aeEsas
– Laurel M. Lee (@FLSecofState) October 6, 2020
In a statement, Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee said the state’s online registration portal recorded “unprecedented volume and traffic” of 1.1 million requests per hour on Monday night.
“We’re working with local polling officers and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to ensure all eligible registrants can apply for voter registration by 7:00 p.m. tonight,” Lee said in a statement.
“We will work with our law enforcement partners at the federal and state levels to ensure this is not a deliberate act against the voting process,” she added.
The crash, which sparked outrage among Democrats, could have prevented thousands of potential voters from voting in the November 3rd general election.
The failure comes as the state is once again very competitive in this fall’s presidential competition. Former Vice President Joe Biden fought in Miami on Monday.
On Tuesday, a coalition of constituencies filed a lawsuit against DeSantis and Lee to extend the registration deadline by at least two days, arguing that the one day extension was insufficient to educate voters to try re-registering.
“Florida’s OVR system has historically malfunctioned and crashed ahead of important deadlines like the final day of registration before a major election,” he said Stephanie Porta, managing director of Organize Florida.
“In the midst of a global health pandemic, Floridians shouldn’t be denied the right to vote because the Secretary of State cannot properly update and maintain a website.”