Florida Deserves a Working Voter Registration Website, Not Willful Ignorance

TALLAHASSEE – All Voting is Local Florida State Director Brad Ashwell issued the following statement in response to Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker’s decision not to extend Florida’s voter registration period, following the system’s crash on the deadline day:

“This ruling is a setback for countless Floridians who expected their state to maintain a functioning voter registration website. Governor DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel Lee knew the website’s tendency to crash posed a danger to democracy, yet they did nothing. They had years of warnings but chose not to act – their dereliction of duty is beyond inappropriate and inexcusable. 

“We hope our elected officials learn from this dysfunction and adequately prepare for the scores of voters who intend to vote by mail and in-person during the upcoming general election.”

Background:

Despite advocates’ repeated calls to fix the online voting registration (OVR) website, increase platform capacity, and have an independent party stress-test the website, the OVR system crashed for hours on October 5, the last day to register to vote for the 2020 general election. The website has a problematic history of failing in high-demand times, such as July of 2018, leading to the primary election registration deadline. It failed again in October 2018, a day before the registration deadline for the general election. The site also faltered on March 29, 2020 shortly after the presidential preference primaries.