Federal judge extends Virginia voter registration deadline

Federal judge extends Virginia voter registration deadline”

According to WUSA9, a cord, that's right, a cord, has been cut that has disabled the state's voter registration system on the very last day that residents of the commonwealth are eligible to register.

On Tuesday morning, the state's IT agency reported that a "fiber cut" near a data center in Chester, Virginia, had disrupted connectivity to multiple state offices.

The elections department also allows registration through a paper form that can be mailed in but must be postmarked Tuesday, the deadline for new voters to register for November's election.

Six hours later, the Department of Elections issued a statement saying the portal was back online.

Clarke asked Virginians who are only able to register online to get in touch with the Lawyers' Committee via its Election Protection hotline.

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Among several groups that filed a petition for an extension following the outage, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit arguing that without a voter registration extension, voters who were "unable through no fault of their own, will be absolutely disenfranchised in the upcoming elections".

On Tuesday, the registration site was down until 3:30 p.m., due to a Verizon fiber that had been inadvertently struck during a Chesterfield County roadside utilities project.

Northam, a Democrat, supported the extension, and said it appeared that only the courts could change the state's voter registration deadline. And Democratic members of Virginia's congressional delegation had called for a 72-hour extension. Many people wait until the the day of the deadline to register, particularly after being reminded on social media and in the news. So it's unclear if the deadline to register to vote will be extended due to the IT outage.

A voter advocacy group, the New Virginia Majority Education Fund, sued for an extension, and a federal judge granted a brief one. It is astonishing that Virginia has not learned from failures of the not-so-distant past.

Elections department spokeswoman Andrea Gaines said the problem was a cut fiber cable.

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