Computer issues change voter registration deadline

Following several issues with Florida’s online voter registration system on Monday, the state extended the registration deadline to vote until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The one-day extension prompted voting groups to quickly file a complaint saying the state’s action did not go far enough, according to The News Service of Florida.

As of mid-afternoon as of Tuesday, few new voters registered at polling stations in northeast Florida.

Duval County Election Supervisor Mike Hogan said no one in his office commented on Monday’s issues with the state’s registration website.

“I didn’t receive any email regarding the issue last night or my call center, nor any calls about it,” Hogan said. “So far, we have accepted four new voter registrations.”

As of 3:45 p.m., only nine people had registered with the Clay County Election Supervisor’s office in Green Cove Springs, and only a handful by 4 p.m. in Nassau County, officials said. St. Johns County Supervisor Vicki Oakes posted news of the extension in a red banner on the office’s website at as soon as it was released and said all is calm in St. Augustine.

“At this point, people will see the information and realize that they can probably still go online and use the online voter registration system or post their nominations,” Oakes said. “We will stay open until 7pm as we are asked to do.”

After meeting with Governor Ron DeSantis, Secretary of State Laurel Lee issued a directive to reopen the voter registration deadline in Florida to participate in the November 3 general election. The new deadline replaces the original Tuesday midnight time for applications submitted online and also allows in-person registration up to 7:00 p.m.

The live site at had numerous issues and crashes on Monday and had problems intermittently on Tuesday due to “unprecedented volume and traffic,” Lee said. The decision to extend the deadline came after she informed the governor.

“We are working with local election supervisors and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to ensure that all eligible registrants have the opportunity to submit an application for voter registration by 7:00 p.m.,” she said. declared. “In the past few hours, the website has been visited with an unprecedented 1.1 million requests per hour. We will work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to ensure that this is not a deliberate act against the voting process. “

Three dozen organizations sent a letter to DeSantis and Lee demanding that the deadline be extended to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday due to issues with the online system. Voting rights groups followed suit later on Tuesday by filing a lawsuit asking a federal judge to impose a new deadline.

“State election officials were warned well in advance that the online voter registration site was vulnerable to problems resulting from high usage,” argued the plaintiffs’ lawyers. “The state had every reason to prepare for an increase in traffic ahead of the 2020 general election in particular, given the intense public interest in the elections and the increased dependence on the OVR. [online voter registration] due to the statewide self-quarantine in the wake of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, and the state’s own data showing a record number of records entering via OVR. “

U.S. District Chief Justice Mark Walker is scheduled to hold a trial hearing Wednesday morning, the Florida press service said.

The one-day state extension means applications received Tuesday on Florida’s online voter registration system will be included in the registration for the Nov. 3 general election, officials said. ‘State. Additionally, all applications received through the Duval County Election Supervisor’s office at 105 E. Monroe St., any other county election or the local tax collector’s office and Florida driver’s license offices Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will be accepted. Paper applications stamped by Tuesday will also be accepted, state officials said.

For more information, call the Florida Elections Division Voter Hotline at (866) 308-6739.

Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549

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