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 vote and to the people who are helping people register to vote.”
Attorney General Mark Herring, who supported the lawsuit, announced the news on Twitter as well.
🚨BREAKING🚨 Judge says he will GRANT our request to extend voter registration deadline until 11:59pm on Thursday, October 15. Register to vote now!!
— Mark Herring (@MarkHerringVA) October 14, 2020
Voter advocates filed a lawsuit Tuesday to extend Virginia’s deadline.
“Eligible Virginia citizens should not have to pay the price for this technological failure. Unless the voter registration deadline is extended to October 15, 2020, Plaintiffs’ members and others will be deprived of their constitutional right to vote in the November 3, 2020, election,” reads the suit filed by the New Virginia Majority Education Fund, the Virginia Civic Engagement Table and the League of Women Voters of Virginia.
Problems erupted early Tuesday morning when voters noticed they could not access online registration. The
Virginia’s voter registration website was back up Tuesday afternoon after an outage that lasted about six hours on the commonwealth’s last day to register to vote ahead of the November election.
The Virginia Department of Elections on Tuesday afternoon said its citizen portal – which allows residents to register to vote, update information and check their registration status – was back up.
“Thank you everyone for your patience! The citizen portal is back up, you can go to http://elections.virginia.gov/voterinfo to register to vote, update information or check your registration status,” the department tweeted.
Thank you everyone for your patience! The citizen portal is back up, you can go to https://t.co/8vK06RBLHl to register to vote, update information or check your registration status.
– VA Dept of Elections (@vaELECT) October 13, 2020
The department earlier in the day said a cut fiber near the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center had affected the portal and the registrar’s offices.
Video: Florida official says state and federal law enforcement found no ‘malicious activity’ in voter site outage: reports (FOX News)
Virginia faced a similar problem in 2016, when the website went down the final day to register to vote ahead of that year’s presidential election.
Ultimately, a judge ordered Virginia to extend its voter registration deadline in 2016 after civil rights groups sued for an extension due to the website crash.
Virginia Democrats have already pushed for the deadline to be extended this year due to the outage. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) and Democratic Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly and Jennifer Wexton have all called for
The issue began around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Technicians identified the cause as an equipment failure at a data center managed for the commonwealth by Unisys and said technicians immediately began to work on plans for recovery.
“We are working around the clock with our vendors to bring services back online as quickly as possible and will continue to do so until operations are fully restored,” said Secretary of Administration Michael Newsome Sunday evening.
Newsome said that during the outage the affected agencies activated their continuity plans and provided additional information to customers of the impacted services.
Officials said there is no indication at this time of any malicious physical or cyber activity, or that any loss of data has occurred.
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With less than a month to go before the general election, a computer problem is causing issues for Pennsylvania voters.
According to the state, this outage began late Saturday.
The outage is impacting multiple state agencies including the Department of State, which oversees voting and election materials.
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State says this is due to an issue with contractors equipment, and there’s no evidence of malicious interference. All its data is backed up.
Many of the Department of State’s election-related and professional licensing services are affected, including online voter registration and the online application for mail in ballots.
The state’s Secretary of Administration says they are working around the clock to get this problem solved.
What you can do during this outage is download the paper voter registration, mail in ballot applications, and other election related forms and applications.
Links to more information can be found at the following locations:
You can also call the state’s toll-free voter hotline to have applications mailed to you.
The state says that counties will still be able to process registrations, mail-in ballots, absentee ballot applications, and ballots with alternative processes.
Outlook online users around the world are reporting problems accessing the Microsoft service, adding to the woes Office 365 users experienced earlier this week.
Microsoft at 9am CET, 3am ET, confirmed that users are having issues accessing Exchange Online accounts via Outlook on the web.
SEE: Office 365: A guide for tech and business leaders (free PDF) (TechRepublic download)
Microsoft initially said users in India are the primary group impacted. However, the company later confirmed on the Microsoft 365 Status Twitter account that the issue is affecting users worldwide.
Downloaddetector currently indicates the worst impacted regions include the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, and India. There are also multiple user reports on Twitter from users in Europe who’ve been unable to access Outlook as the workday begins.
This new incident follows a six-hour Office 365 failure earlier this week due to an authentication error that prevented users from signing into Office.com, Outlook.com, Teams, Power Platform, and Dynamics365. Microsoft was forced to roll back a recent change that impacted authentication operations for numerous Microsoft and Azure services.
Microsoft’s Office Service health dashboard also confirms that users of Outlook.com “may be unable to access their email”.
“We’re collecting additional data from the affected infrastructure to aid in our investigation to determine the cause of impact,” Microsoft said.
SEE: Office 365 outage with roll back failure ends after more than six hours
Similar to the incident earlier this week, Microsoft said it is investigating recent updates it has made to its service to