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