Skip navigation

Groups react to ruling extending voter registration deadline

by News Staff/CBS 19 News

RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Following a judge's ruling that has extended Virginia's voter registration deadline for 48 hours, groups that filed a lawsuit calling for the extension are celebrating.

Attorney General Mark Herring announced the decision to extend the deadline on Wednesday.

"Today's agreement to extend the voter registration deadline is a big win for democracy. Any eligible Virginian who was not able to register to vote yesterday can now do so," said Herring. "I have made it a top priority over the last several months to protect Virginians' right to vote by making it as easy, safe and secure as possible, and this agreement is no different. I will continue to fight to make sure that every eligible Virginian can vote in this crucial election and that their vote will count."

This came about following Tuesday's fiber-optic cable cut in Chesterfield County, which resulted in connectivity issues for many of Virginia's department websites, including the Department of Elections.

People who were attempting to vote early in-person were also impacted by the outage, and they were instead offered a chance to cast a provisional ballot.

The League of Women Voters of Virginia was one of the groups involved in the lawsuit, along with the New Virginia Majority.

"This year has been tough for everybody in so many ways. The portal being unavailable on the last day for people to register to vote was another hurdle," said Deb Wake, President of the League of Women Voters of Virginia. "Extending voter registration to compensate for those who did not get a chance to use the portal is just a matter of fairness."

"The decision to extend the registration deadline was the right thing in 2016, and it's the right one now. It's unfortunate that an accident caused a system-wide failure, but Virginia voters should not have to bear the burden and lose their franchise due to a technology error through no fault of their own, said Tram Nguyen, co-executive director of New Virginia Majority. "Virginians are excited to vote in this election as evidenced by the high turnout during the last several weeks of early voting. We encourage every eligible Virginian to check their registration status and register to vote."

"Voting is a right, not a privilege, and everyone who is eligible must have the chance to cast their ballot during the 2020 election season," said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "This extension is critical to ensuring that no eligible voter across Virginia is locked out and penalized as a result of the state's failure. This underscores the need for states to put in place backstops to address 11th-hour issues and disruptions in our electoral process."

Through this ruling, people who need to register to vote or to update their voter registration information have until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday to do so.

This ruling did not address another request that would have extended the in-person early voting window.

To register or check on the status of your voter registration, click here.

Continue Reading

Read More