Governor DeSantis Must Extend Florida’s Voter Registration Deadline After Website Crashes

TALLAHASSEE – All Voting is Local Florida and 34 voting rights advocates today urged Gov. Ron DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel Lee to extend the voter registration deadline for the 2020 general election to 11:59 p.m. on October 7. The request for an extension is in response to the state’s faulty registration website, which was down for hours on the day of the deadline, October 5. 

In their letter, advocates wrote, “Florida’s Online Voter Registration (“OVR”) system was plagued with serious problems for hours on Monday, October 5, 2020, making it impossible for prospective voters to register to vote on the final day of voter registration for the November 3, 2020 general election. We demand that the deadline for voter registration be extended two days to 11:59 p.m., October 7th, 2020.

To ensure that Floridians who wanted to register aren’t disenfranchised by the state’s faulty website, the organizations urge Gov. DeSantis to extend the registration deadline and take the following steps: 

  1. Extend the book closing deadline to 11:59 p.m. on October 7, 2020, in all 67 Florida counties.
  2. Lengthen and publicize that the technical support hotline for voters will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on October 7, 2020, and have operators who are fluent in English and Spanish.
  3. Provide comprehensive voter education in English and Spanish of voters’ right to register to vote until 11:59 p.m. on October 7, 2020, both online and at every public office that offers voter registration services.

The groups also wrote, “Since September 2017, multiple organizations have asked state officials about the security and stability of the OVR system. All Voting is Local and other voting rights groups have been seeking information about previous problems from your office for years and have been asking your office for months to have an independent entity run a stress test of the OVR system in order to ensure that it would be able to handle an influx of last-minute registrations. These organizations have not been provided with ample answers, nor to our knowledge have state officials conducted the requested stress test.” 

Click here for a copy of the letter.

The following groups signed the letter: 

All Voting is Local

ACLU of Florida

Alianza for Progress

Bring it Home Florida

Common Cause Florida

Campaign Legal Center

Disability Rights Florida

Fair Elections Center 

Florida AFL-CIO 

Florida Civic Engagement Table

Florida Conservation Voters 

Florida For All 

Florida Healthy Voices 

Florida Immigrant Coalition

For Our Future Action Fund

La Mesa Boricua

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law 

League of Women Voters of Florida

Miami Freedom Project 

Mi Familia Vota

NAACP Florida State Conference 

NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) 

New Florida Majority 

Opportunity for All Floridians 

Poder Latinx

Respeta Mi Gente Coalition

SEIU Florida 

SiX 

SPLC Action Fund

The Common Ground Project

The Florida Immigrant Coalition 

Unidos US

Vamos4PR 

Voces Unidas por la Educación 

Women Talk Black