A federal judge on Friday struck down a motion to extend voter registration in Florida by three days after a technical problem on the state’s website that might have prevented as many as thousands of people from casting their votes in the election next month.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker in his ruling called the decision “an incredibly close call” but said the state’s interest in preventing chaos in its already precarious – and perennially chaotic – election outweighs the substantial burden imposed on the right to vote.”
Cartoons on the 2020 Election
Walker said the court “is not persuaded that an injunction … would not be adverse to the public interest,” adding that the “court is mindful of the potential for voter confusion that could result” from extending the registration deadline.
Despite his ruling, Walker’s decision was filled with criticism of the state.
“This court notes that every man who has stepped foot on the moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly – a task simpler than rocket science,” Walker said.
The decision comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the state’s voter registration deadline through 7 p.m. on Tuesday after the state’s website crashed on Monday, the initial deadline. While the deadline was extended, the “cure had at least one major flaw,” Walker said: People weren’t given enough notice of the extension.
Florida’s chief information officer, James Grant, told The Associated Press that the servers for Florida’s voting system “were configured in a way that reduced its capacity to a fraction of a fraction of what it was capable of.”
The secretary of state’s office told AP the system was overloaded by approximately 1.1 million requests per hour. During the peak of
NIC Secures New Contracts in Florida and Iowa for Payment Processing and Digital Government Solutions
Digital government solutions firm NIC Inc. has won new multi-year contracts with the states of Florida and Iowa following competitive bid processes.
“We are excited by the confidence Florida and Iowa have placed in NIC solutions as we continue to expand our payment processing and digital government services across the country,” said Harry Herington, NIC CEO and Chairman of the Board. “These wins further reinforce the momentum NIC has experienced in 2020.”
In Florida, NIC has been awarded a contract to provide transaction-funded payment processing services for all state agencies. The five-year transaction-funded contract, which may be extended by up to five additional years, also provides the ability for cities and municipalities to work with NIC for payment processing services, promoting a comprehensive and seamless financial transaction experience for Florida citizens and businesses.
For its fiscal year ended June 2018, the state of Florida processed 74 million transactions for a total of $52 billion in payments across 19 state agencies and processed 21 million transactions for a total of more than $1 billion across more than 90 localities.
In Iowa, NIC will once again serve as the state’s enterprise digital government solutions partner after a 15-year partnership concluded in 2017. Under the new five-year transaction-funded contract, which includes five one-year renewal options, NIC’s Des Moines-based team will work with state leadership to consolidate digital services into a unified experience for all Iowans.
“We are very excited for our digital solutions partnership with NIC in Iowa, first starting with payment processing services,” said Annette Dunn, Iowa’s Chief Information Officer. “We have many large agencies across the state that can benefit not only from a strategic, streamlined approach to payment processing but also from the many digital solutions NIC provides. These solutions happen to align perfectly with Governor Reynolds’ vision for the
After Florida’s voter registration website failed Monday night, the state’s residents will get additional time to register to vote online.
From hanging chads, to improper purging of voter rolls, to modern day poll taxes, the state of Florida has long been synonymous with voting disasters. This year is no different. Hours before the deadline to register online to vote in the Sunshine State on Monday, the site mysteriously went offline. In response, Florida’s secretary of state announced Tuesday morning an extension of that deadline.
“We are working with local Supervisors of Elections and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to ensure that all eligible registrants have the ability submit a voter registration application by 7:00 p.m. this evening,” explained Secretary Laurel M. Lee in a .
Florida, of course, is a vital swing state in the upcoming election. With a long history of GOP-led voter suppression in the state, Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo wasted no time in calling out Republican elected officials.
“This is just latest attempt from the Republican leaders in Florida to limit democracy,” she said in a statement. “The Florida Voter Registration website not working on the last day to register to vote in Florida is blatant voter suppression.”
At fault, according to Secretary Lee, was the high volume of traffic received by the registration website https://registertovoteflorida.gov. She noted that, Monday evening as the initial deadline approached, the site received 1.1 million requests per hour.
Today, I issued a directive to re-open Florida’s voter registration deadline to participate in the Nov 3, General Election before 7 pm EST for applications submitted online and by 7 pm local time for in-person registration, today, October 6. More: https://t.co/7kK8aeEsas
— Laurel M. Lee (@FLSecofState) October 6, 2020
The population of Florida is approximately 21.5 million,
After a Florida voter registration website crashed on the final day residents were eligible to register for the November election, Gov. Ron DeStantis extended the state’s registration deadline by one day, giving Floridians until 7 p.m. Tuesday to enroll to vote.
Unprecedented traffic caused serious delays, malfunctions, error messages and eventually crashed Florida’s voter registration site Monday, just hours before the state’s midnight registration deadline.
The system failure could have potentially prevented thousands from registering to vote in the key battleground state.
DeSantis extended the state’s voter registration deadline to 7 p.m. Tuesday and ordered election offices and DMVs to stay open until 7 p.m. for those residents who want to register to vote in person, according to the Associated Press.
Democrats in the state found the crash suspicious and noted that the system proved to be fragile earlier this year.
This marks the fourth time the Florida voting portal has crashed since the site launched in 2017. In 2018 the portal crashed one month before primary day, and one day before voter registration deadline for the general election. The site also crashed in March this year, and was taken down for maintenance just before National Voter Registration Day.
1.1 million. That’s how many requests the online voter registration system was receiving per hour Monday evening, according to Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee.
This is just [the] latest
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis briefly extended the state’s Tuesday voter registration deadline hours after its website crashed in the final hours of availability.
Florida residents now have until 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday to register online or in-person, Secretary of State Laurel Lee said in an email.
Voters who tried to visit the Florida Department of State website on Monday night were greeted with a message from Cloudflare, a cybersecurity company that specializes in mitigating attacks from hackers who try to knock sites offline with a massive influx of traffic. The voter registration site received 1.1 million visitors an hour, Lee said.
But Cloudflare’s CEO, Matthew Prince, said that increased traffic to election sites Monday night didn’t appear to be an attack.
“Traffic up, but that’s to be expected as people are legitimately registering to vote,” Prince said in a text message Monday evening. “As of now, no indications of malicious traffic to any of the voter registration sites we help protect.”
The problems lasted for “about seven hours,” DeSantis said at a news conference Tuesday.
Seven organizations filed a lawsuit Tuesday to extend the new deadline.
Andrea Mercado, executive director of New Florida Majority, a progressive group that took part in the lawsuit, said 7 p.m. was not enough time to let people know they can still register.
Mercado said there is always a spike in registrations as states get closer to election day. In the past week, New Florida Majority registered 800 people online and another 840 people in person.
“It’s too bad that our Florida leadership doesn’t do better,” Mercado said in a phone call. “It’s denying democracy to so many people.”
Florida is one of at least three states whose voter registration sites have gone offline in recent weeks, though the only one that did so