Florida’s voter registration system crashed on Monday due to misconfigured computer servers, not voter suppression, Florida’s Chief Information Officer James Grant said Wednesday.
On the final day for voter registration in the state, servers crashed, putting a temporary halt in voter registration, according to the Associated Press. Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed people to register for seven hours the following day, to make up for time lost. It is not known how many people were not able to register to vote on Monday.
Today, I issued a directive to re-open Florida’s voter registration deadline to participate in the Nov 3, General Election before 7 pm EST for applications submitted online and by 7 pm local time for in-person registration, today, October 6. More: https://t.co/7kK8aeEsas
— Laurel M. Lee (@FLSecofState) October 6, 2020
Voting rights groups were still not satisfied as they requested more time to register through a federal lawsuit, the Sun-Sentinel reports. They demanded two more days for residents to register in Florida.
“How are we one of the largest states in the nation, and our government continuously fails to properly run a website?” Stephanie Porta, executive director of Organize Florida, one of the voting and minority rights groups that filed the lawsuit, asked.
Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee said in a statement Tuesday that it does not appear that voter suppression was the cause for the registration system crashing, but rather, the system overloaded with approximately 1.1 million registration attempts coming in each hour.
“We will work with our state and federal law enforcement partners to ensure this was not a deliberate act against the voting process,” Lee said. “We have not identified any evidence of interference or malicious activity impacting the site.”
The voter registration system worked as it should have during the extra time after technicians reconfigured existing servers to expand the network’s capacity, Grant told AP. (RELATED: POLL: Trump And Biden Are Tied In Florida)
The voter registration system in Florida experiencing difficulty is not the first occurrence since it went online in 2017, as noted by problems in the 2018 midterms, according to the Sun-Sentinel. However, a problem of this magnitude had not occurred previously.
“This is not the first time that the voter registration website has crashed prior to a major election,” said Moné Holder, senior program director for New Florida Majority, who was part of the lawsuit to extend the registration deadline further. “The online voter registration site failed because it was designed to fail.”
The state worked with various departments to ensure everyone that attempted to register could do so by Tuesday night.
“We are working with local Supervisors of Elections and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to ensure that all eligible registrants have the ability to submit a voter registration application by 7:00 p.m. this evening,” Lee said.