TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – A federal judge has extended voter registration for six more days in the battleground state of Florida, due to the disruption and damage from Hurricane Matthew.
During a hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker extended the deadline until Oct. 18.
Walker had already extended the Oct. 11 deadline one day, after the Florida Democratic Party filed a lawsuit last weekend, following the hurricane’s brush with Florida’s east coast.
Democrats had asked Gov. Rick Scott to extend the deadline, but Scott turned down the request and said people have had enough time to register.
Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said Tuesday the state would accept the court’s decision on the deadline. The governor’s office offered no defense Wednesday for keeping the Oct. 12 deadline in place.
The Florida Democratic Party released a statement Wednesday morning following the announcement:
We are thrilled the court agreed to extend the voter registration deadline a full week following Hurricane Matthew. While we wish it had not taken a lawsuit to get the Scott administration to do the right thing, today’s ruling is a major victory for all Floridians and for the democratic process in the Sunshine State.”