A federal judge in Richmond has ruled that Virginia must extend online and in-person voter registration until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 15.
The order comes after a construction project accidentally cut a fiber internet line yesterday that took down several state websites, including the Department of Elections website on the last day of voter registration.
U.S. Judge John A. Gibney Jr. made the ruling early Wednesday morning in a lawsuit brought by several voter rights groups.
“There’s really not a lot of harm to the Commonwealth and the state registrars by extending the period of registration in this case,” Gibney Jr. said in the teleconference hearing, “but there is tremendous harm to the people who want to register to
A federal court has granted to extend Virginia’s voter registration deadline by 48 hours after the state’s Department of Elections website shut down on Tuesday, just hours before the original deadline.
The new deadline to register to vote in Virginia is Thursday, October 15 at 11:59 p.m.
New Virginia Majority Education Fund and a coalition of groups filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Richmond to extend the deadline for voter registration. They argued that the lack of an extension would disproportionately affect minority groups and younger voters who tend to register on the last day.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring also filed a brief on Tuesday asking the court to extend the deadline.
Voters cast their ballots for the 2020 election at an early, in-person voting location in Arlington, Virginia, on September 18, 2020.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
Virginia’s Citizen Portal has gone down due to a cut fiber on Tuesday, preventing people from registering to vote online on the last day of voter registration in the state, the Department of Elections says.
Residents can still register to vote by mailing in or dropping off paper applications.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax said the outages are reported statewide and called for the voter registration deadline to be extended beyond Tuesday. However, the Board of Elections hasn’t announced plans to adjust the deadline.
The outage is also affecting registrar’s offices, the Virginia Department of Elections said on Twitter.
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The Citizen Portal, which allows voters to register online, was temporarily unavailable on Tuesday morning, a message posted on the
Virginia’s voter registration website went down on Tuesday, the final day for people in the state to register ahead of Election Day. The website was down until the early afternoon for more than five and a half hours.
“Due to a network outage, the Citizen Portal is temporarily unavailable,” the Virginia Department of Elections wrote on its site Tuesday morning.
Officials tweeted that a “fiber cut” in Chester, near the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center, impacted connectivity for multiple state agencies. The cut cable, which appeared to be an accident, affected both the voting portal and the registrar’s offices.
“We are working with our network providers to restore service as quickly as possible,” the department said. “Please check back later for your online voter registration or absentee needs.”