By Chris Megerian
Los Angeles Times
A federal judge ordered Florida to allow voters to register until Wednesday evening, agreeing with Democratic Party lawyers that the deadline should be extended because of disruption from Hurricane Matthew.
The original deadline was Tuesday, and Republican Gov. Rick Scott had resisted requests to push it back.
“Hurricane Matthew not only forced many of those voters to evacuate the state, but also foreclosed the only methods of registering to vote: in person or by mail,” wrote Judge Mark Walker. “As a result, Florida’s statutory framework completely disenfranchises thousands of voters, and amounts to a severe burden on the right to vote.”
A court hearing on the lawsuit, which requested a new deadline of Oct. 18, is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
“It has been suggested that the issue of extending the voter registration deadline is about politics,” wrote Walker, who was appointed by President Barack Obama. “Poppycock. This case is about the right of aspiring eligible voters to register and to have their votes counted.”