Florida Democratic Party sues to extend voter registration in wake of hurricane

Deadline to register is Tuesday


ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit to have the voter registration deadline extended by one week to accommodate residents in the Panhandle who are evacuating the area as Hurricane Michael approaches.

Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote in the general election on Nov. 6. Gov. Rick Scott ordered that state offices be closed Tuesday through Thursday in 35 counties that are under a state of emergency.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, alleges that the one-day extension suggested by Secretary of State Ken Detzner is not adequate. 

"The Secretary’s failure to adequately extend the registration deadline will prevent thousands of Florida residents in the areas affected by Hurricane Michael from registering and voting in the upcoming general election. In the nine days in October prior to the voter registration deadline preceding the 2012 election, for example, roughly 181,000 Floridians registered to vote," the lawsuit read.

Florida Democratic Party officials also mentioned the example of Hurricane Matthew in 2016. In that instance, 108,000 additional Floridians registered to vote after the deadline was extended by a week to accommodate for the storm.

In addition to the deadline extension, the state Democratic Party is also seeking attorneys' fees.

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