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Voting Rights Groups Sue to Extend Florida Deadline

They say 7 hours added after website crashed wasn't long enough
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2020 5:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – Florida extended its voter registration deadline after the massive volume of requests caused the website to crash—but voting rights groups said the 7-hour extension was nowhere near long enough. Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee said Tuesday that she had reopened registration from noon to 7pm following Monday's crash, which she said happened amid "unprecedented volume" of 1.1 million requests per hour, Politico reports. Lee, a Republican, added that she would work with law enforcement to ensure the crash wasn't "a deliberate act against the voting process." The online registration first crashed Monday afternoon and experienced outages until the midnight deadline.

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Voting rights groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to extend the deadline by at least two days. They argued that voters who had been unable to register Monday had not been given "meaningful notice" that the deadline had been extended. The battleground state's online voter registration system "has a history of malfunctioning and crashing in advance of major deadlines like the last day of registration before a major election," said Stephanie Porta, executive director of Organize Florida, per NPR. "In the midst of a global health pandemic, Floridians should not be denied the right to vote because the Secretary of State can't properly update and maintain a website." (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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