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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Federal judge extends Florida’s voter registration deadline through Tuesday

    OCTOBER 12, 2016 11:05 AM

    Federal judge extends Florida’s voter registration deadline through Tuesday

    Citizens register to vote at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department in Doral on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the extension of Florida’s voter registration by one week, until next Tuesday. C.M. Guerrero


    Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

    TALLAHASSEE U.S. District Judge Mark Walker on Wednesday ordered the extension of Florida’s voter registration by one week, until next Tuesday, because of Hurricane Matthew.

    “No right is more precious than having a voice in our elections,” Walker said Wednesday during a 40-minute hearing in a Tallahassee courtroom.

    The Florida Democratic Party had asked for an extension of the deadline in the wake of the disarray left behind by Hurricane Matthew, which led to evacuation orders of more than 1 million residents.

    Attorneys for Gov. Rick Scott, who had opposed the extension, and Secretary of State Ken Detzner spoke only to acknowledge their presence. They didn’t argue a position before Walker.

    Democrats filed a lawsuit Sunday against Scott, arguing that Scott refused to extend the deadline for the very residents he ordered to evacuate for the storm.

    “Many Floridians who would have registered to vote prior to the Oct. 11 registration deadline have been displaced or otherwise prevented from registering,” the lawsuit stated.

    On Monday, Walker granted an emergency order extending the deadline for one day to allow for Wednesday’s hearing.

    “Quite simply, it is wholly irrational in this instance for Florida to refuse to extend the voter registration deadline when the state already allows the governor to suspend or move the election date due to an unforeseen emergency,” Walker wrote in Monday's 16-page order.

    South Carolina, a state also damaged by Hurricane Matthew, extended its voter registration deadline, and Georgia, also in Matthew's path, encouraged more people to register online — an option that is not available in Florida.

    In two recent cases, Florida elections deadlines were altered.

    After Hurricane Andrew ravaged parts of Miami-Dade in August 1992, a state judge, citing “exceptional circumstances,” delayed the county's primary election for one week and ordered results in statewide and multi-county races to be sealed until Miami-Dade voted.

    In 2008, then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist issued an executive order that extended early voting for two days, citing a “historic” turnout in Barack Obama's first campaign.

    Florida has more than 12.5 million voters, with thousands more joining the rolls each week.

    All voters, regardless of their party affiliation, can vote in the Nov. 8 election.

    In Florida, Democrats are usually more aggressive at registering new voters closer to the fall election.

    The party has focused its energy on young people, African-Americans and Hispanics, especially on the Interstate 4 corridor that bisects the state in Orlando and is considered crucial territory in presidential elections.

    This breaking news story will be updated as more information is available.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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