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Voter Registration Could Be Re-opened

October 7th, 2020 by Mike Vasilinda

If you had trouble registering to vote after the state website crashed Monday evening and didn’t take advantage of a seven hour extension granted Tuesday, there’s a 50/50 chance you may get another opportunity.

A federal judge wants to see hard data on who was impacted by the crash.

With seven hours remaining to register to vote Monday afternoon, the state voter registration website slowed down.

Officials said it received 1.1 million hits an hour fo the next six hours.

On Tuesday, the state extended registration by seven hours.

“We had about 740 or 50,” said Leon County Elections Supervisors when asked how many people registered in his county during the extension.

Earley said few complained.

“We only had five complaints on Tuesday about the inability to use the online voter registration portal,” said Earley.

Several voting rights groups filed suit to extend registration even longer.

Federal Judge Mark Walker late Tuesday denied a motion to extend registration.

At 8:30 Wednesday he heard from both sides.

Walker told the state he wanted hard data, saying he wanted to “put meat on the bone” asking what was the volume of registrations before and after the crash, how many registered during the extension and more.

Lawyers for the state told the judge they needed all day Wednesday to gather the data that he wanted.

They were able to report that about 40,000 people registered during the seven hour extension Tuesday.

The judge also also asked for a drop dead date when the state could no longer process registrations for November voting.

Again the state wasn’t sure.

But Supervisor Earley said he didn’t foresee a problem.

“As long as it doesn’t extend too long, of course. We have the ability to process those if they come in,” said Earley.

Depending on how long registration period is extended, if at all, some voters might now be able to early vote when it opens on the 19th.

The judge will hear the case at 8 AM Thursday.

Neither side said it would call witnesses, but the judge specifically asked for the Director of the State Division of Elections.

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