Federal Judge Extends Florida Voter Registration Deadline in Wake of Hurricane Matthew

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  • David Vance
Statement of Liza McClenaghan, Common Cause Florida State Chair

A federal Judge today extend Florida’s voter registration by one week after the state suffered severe damage from Hurricane Matthew. The Florida Democratic Party filed suit over the weekend after Florida Governor Rick Scott refused to extend the deadline in the wake of the storm. The ruling today by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker extends the deadline for voters to register to October 18.   

“It is unfortunate that voters had to rely on a Federal Court to extend the voter registration deadline because their Governor refused to do it in the wake of Hurricane Matthew,” said Liza McClenaghan, Common Cause Florida State Chair. “Judge Walker is to be applauded for the ruling and for reminding Governor Scott that ‘the right to have a voice that is why this country exists.’ If history is a guide, tens of thousands of Floridians had their voice restored by today’s ruling as traditionally the state has seen a surge in voter registrations in the week before the deadline.”

To aid those potential voters temporarily displaced by Hurricane Matthew, Common Cause Florida wants to make sure that they know they can still register by taking advantage of the features of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which mandated that states provide voter registrations at a variety of government entities including libraries.

Here is a list of Supervisors of Elections contact information: http://tinyurl.com/hcp62fw

Here is a list of Florida Public Library Systems: http://tinyurl.com/hgoac66

In addition, these Voter Registration Agencies in Florida can provide and accept voter registration applications from any applicant no matter what county they reside in by the deadline of Tuesday, October 18, 2016.

Offices that provide public assistance:

  • Department of Health’s Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Department of Children and Families (SNAP), TANF etc.

Offices that provide state funded programs for persons with disabilities

  • Agency for Persons with Disabilities
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs
  • Department of Education (Division of Blind Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation)
  • Department of Financial Services (Division of Workers’ Compensation)
  • Disability Offices at public colleges and universities (Armed Forces Recruitment Offices, Centers for Independent Living)

We look forward to prominent information about any changes in early voting and Election Day polling places that may have been damaged by the storm and information about Vote-By-Mail ballots that need to be replaced because of damage or loss.  Access to the election process is important to all Floridians.