A number of voting rights groups are calling for Florida’s voter registration cutoff to be extended after the state’s registration portal experienced outages in the hours before the deadline.
Some Floridians attempting to access RegistertovoteFlorida.gov found slow responses or error messages on Monday evening, with some reports on social media of people attempting for hours to register to vote.
Florida’s deadline to register in order to be eligible to vote in the 2020 general election was midnight Monday. Paper applications that were mailed in had to be postmarked by Monday.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the ACLU of Florida and the Campaign Legal Center sent a letter on Monday night to Brad McVay, the Florida Department of State’s general counsel, pushing for the deadline to be extended until midnight Tuesday.
“We are contemplating further action,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee, when asked for an update Tuesday morning. “We are prepared to use every tool in our arsenal to stand up for voters impacted.”
A spokesman for the Department of State, which manages the website, has not yet responded to two voicemails and an email sent Monday evening and Tuesday morning asking for more information about what happened with the website and whether the deadline would be extended.
Brad Ashwell, Florida state director of voting rights group All Voting is Local, said his organization was hearing reports well into Monday night that there were problems with the voter registration website. Ashwell said different groups are debating how long to ask for the deadline to be extended. He noted that there would
Some of Facebook’s most prominent critics on Wednesday called on the social network to take steps to safeguard democracy ahead of the US elections in November, accusing it of not enforcing its own rules against inciting violence.
The group calls itself the Real Facebook Oversight Board and is made up of high-profile journalists, activists, academics, politicians and business people. Members include Facebook investor Roger McNamee, Filipino-American journalist Maria Ressa (who co-founded the news site Rappler), Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and UK Parliament member Damian Collins.
During a press conference on Wednesday, the group outlined a list of demands for Facebook. The social network should enforce its rules including a policy against inciting violence along with banning paid ads that mention the presidential election results until one candidate is declared the winner and the other concedes. Facebook should also label posts about presidential election results as untrue and premature before the results come out, the group says.
The demands show that Facebook continues to face more pressure to do a better job of combating misinformation and hate speech before the US elections in November.
Facebook has faced criticism this year for how it interprets its own rules. The company didn’t pull down a post by President Donald Trump that said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” sparking a rare virtual walkout by Facebook employees in June. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said even though the post “had a troubling historical reference” the company decided to leave it up because it had a reference to the