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Florida Democrats Win Bid to Extend Voter Registration Deadline in Wake of Hurricane Matthew

Democratic campaign lawyer Marc Elias has emerged victorious in his initial battle with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who refused to extend the state's voter registration deadline in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. On Monday, a Florida federal court extended voter registration to Oct. 12 - one day past the state's original deadline.

The governor was immediately accused of playing politics when he declined to extend the deadline. Voting experts pointed to historical data showing that the last days of voter registration heavily favored minority and Democratic voters. As to the accusation the court was similarly politically motivated, Justice Mark E. Walker responded, "Poppycock. This case is about the right of aspiring eligible voters to register and to have their votes counted. Nothing could be more fundamental to our democracy."

The rest of the decision isn't nearly as colorful, but you can read it here anyway: Florida Democratic Party v. Richard Scott

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Portrait of Jessica Huseman

Jessica Huseman

Jessica Huseman covers voting rights and election administration for ProPublica.

About Electionland

ProPublica’s Electionland project covers problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Our coalition of newsrooms around the country are investigating issues related to voter registration, pandemic-related changes to voting, the shift to vote-by-mail, cybersecurity, voter education, misinformation, and more.

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