A federal judge has denied a motion to extend voter registration in Florida even though a computer meltdown on the final day of registration might have prevented thousands of potential voters from taking part in November’s presidential election.
In a 29-page ruling on Friday morning, U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Walker said his decision was “an incredibly close call” but added that “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.”
Walker noted the historical problems that the state seems to have with elections.
“Notwithstanding the fact that cinemas across the country remain closed, somehow, I feel like I’ve seen this movie before. Just shy of a month from election day, with the earliest mail-in ballots beginning to be counted, Florida has done it again,” Walker wrote.
Monday was the final day for potential voters to register for the November presidential election. In the wake of the computer slowdown, Secretary of State Laurel Lee reopened the registration for seven hours Tuesday, after consulting with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Data filed by the state indicates that 50,000 people registered during the extended time period. Based on previous trends, the judge noted, perhaps more than 20,000 additional people might have also registered to vote if they had been able to access the system.
Walker faulted a state lawyer’s argument that other venues were available to register to vote, including in person at an elections office or by mail.
“With the public sounding the alarm, the secretary of state decided to implement a half-measure,” Walker wrote. “She hastily and briefly extended the registration period and ordered Florida’s supervisors of election to accept applications submitted by the secretary’s new ‘book closing’ deadline.”
Walker wrote that Lee’s “cure”
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
- Google will use the Pixel 4’s Soli radar and Motion Sense gestures in the future.
- The company hasn’t confirmed if the tech is headed to phones.
Google is not done with its Soli radar chip and Motion Sense feature, even though it skipped them both on the Pixel 5. In an interview with The Verge, Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh said that Project Soli and Motion Sense gestures would return in the future.
Google introduced Motion Sense assisted by its Soli radar chip on the Pixel 4. The feature enables a bunch of hand gestures on the phone that allow you to control it without touching the screen. It may have seemed like a gimmick to some users, but our very own Jimmy Westenberg thought it a great addition.
The Soli chip also helped the Pixel 4 recognize your presence and quickly unlock the screen by engaging the necessary biometric sensors. Thanks to this, the Pixel 4 has one of the fastest face unlock systems in the market.
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The main problem was that the Pixel 4 could not be made available in many countries, including India, because of Soli. It requires access to the 60GHz mmWave frequency band which isn’t open for commercial use in many markets.
While Osterloh confirmed that the company would use the tech again in the future, he didn’t specify if it’ll appear on phones. However, a recent FCC filing suggests that Soli-based motion gestures could appear on an upcoming Nest Thermostat. Let’s wait and see what Google has in store.