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Voter Registration Deadline Extended

October 12th, 2016 by flanews

Floridians who didn’t register to vote…guess what? You have more time. As Matt Galka tells us, the deadline was extended in a short hearing Wednesday morning, and voters who end up registering can thank a hurricane for the extra time.

It took about 40 minutes for Floridians to get an extra six days to register to vote. U.S district Judge Mark Walker extended the deadline to October 18th.

The Florida Democratic Party filed the lawsuit in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and the chaos it caused.

“When a storm hits with the severity of a Hurricane Matthew it’s incumbent upon the government to make it easier to vote, not harder, that’s what our country is all about is voting,” said Democratic Party attorney Kevin Hamilton.
Governor Rick Scott said he had no plans of having the deadline extended last week while Florida was in a state of emergency and some were ordered to evacuate.

“The registration, everyone has a lot of time to register, on top of that, we’ve got lots of opportunities to vote,” he said last week.

The judge ruled that the Governor wasn’t even allowed to extend the deadline if he wanted to because of state law.

Some of the groups involved in the lawsuit hope there can be a legislative fix to avoid this issue in the future.

“The reality of Florida is that there are going to be natural disasters, and Florida needs to have plans and policies in place that will account for this. I hope this is an opportunity for the legislature to revisit Florida’s election practices,” said Myrna Perez with the Brennan Center for Justice.

A spokeswoman for the governor’s office said they’d be having a conversation with members of the legislature about a possible fix.

Attorney’s for the state didn’t argue a defense during the hearing.

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