TALLAHASSEE – All Voting is Local Florida State Director Brad Ashwell issued the following statement in response to Florida’s new voter registration deadline of 7 p.m. local time today. Gov. Ron DeSantis granted the insufficient deadline extension after the state’s voter registration website crashed for hours on Monday, October 5 – the original deadline to register for the general election
“Gov. DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel Lee should be ashamed of themselves for offering minimal time to disenfranchised Floridians who were excluded from registering to vote yesterday.
“Not everybody has the ability to easily hop online or leave work to register to fulfill their constitutional right to vote. We, along with 34 organizations, made it clear that the extension needs to run until October 7 at 11:59 pm and the state must undertake an aggressive educational campaign – in English and Spanish – so no Floridian is disenfranchised.
“We made repeated attempts to warn the state about the likelihood of the online voter registration system crashing yet again before a critical deadline. The state’s dereliction of duty, which was exposed by shoddy technology, should not be a barrier to the ballot.”
Florida’s online voter registration system went live in 2017 only to crash a year later.
Since September 2018, All Voting is Local and advocates have made repeated requests urging Florida’s Secretary of State to make public its plan for preventing and resolving problems with the state’s online voter registration system. Despite repeated pleas to fix the site, it failed in 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. Most recently, it failed on March 29, 2020 shortly after the presidential preference primaries.