Decision expected Thursday in Florida voter registration deadline lawsuit

8 On Your Side

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A federal judge is fast-tracking a lawsuit that could extend Florida’s voter registration deadline again.

This comes as the state reveals new information about why its website had a meltdown on Monday. Misconfigured computer servers that limited capacity were to blame for Monday’s problems, not hackers, the state said Wednesday.

Florida officials estimate 40,000 people registered when the state extended the deadline by seven hours on Tuesday.

Sharion Scott is an attorney with the Advancement Project National Office, one of the voting rights groups that immediately sued Florida. Her organization is requesting a two-day extension.

“There were people who still had trouble yesterday,” she explained.

It’s unknown how many Floridians were unable to register while the site was down.

Still, with the election less than a month away, attorneys representing Florida argued it may be too late to add to the voting rolls.

“There are so many states that have later voter registration deadlines than Florida,” Scott said. “They do not need a full 13 days to add people to the rolls like they are asserting.”

Carolyn Thompson, also with Advancement Project National Office, is a long-time voter protection advocate in Florida.

“Very little voter registration took place in the state after the pandemic,” she said.

It’s estimated we have more than 2 million unregistered but potentially eligible voters.

“A large percentage of those are voters of young, voters of color,” said Thompson.

Thompson believes these are the people disenfranchised due to the state’s lack of planning.

Florida’s elections are razor-thin, so there’s a lot on the line here.

8 On Your Side will immediately let you know if the deadline is extended.

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