Voter registration extended until Tuesday, Oct. 18

The US District Court for the Northern District of Florida has again extended the state’s voter registration deadline, now to Tuesday, Oct. 18, in response to Hurricane Matthew.

On Monday the court issued a temporary injunction against the state.

Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Vicki Cannon said Wednesday that their website, www.votenassau.com, and their social media site would be updated immediately.

If you have not yet registered to vote, you can complete an online Voter Registration Application, which is available at www.votenassau.com. You will need to print and sign it. The application may be mailed or delivered to either of the Supervisor of Election office locations by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

You can also register to vote from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Supervisor of Elections office, James S. Page Governmental Complex, 96135 Nassau Place, Suite 3, Yulee, FL 32097. You can also register at any Nassau County branch library. Please check with your branch for their hours.

“After considering the evidence, this Court orders that the deadline is extended to Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at 5:00 p.m., to afford a full opportunity to register for those who may have been affected by Hurricane Matthew's destruction,” wrote US District Judge Mark E. Walker.

“No right is more precious than having a voice in our democracy. Hopefully it is not lost on anyone that the right to have a voice is why this great country exists in the first place.”

"We'll now be able to make up for lost time and help register people whose lives were disrupted by the storm," said Pamela Goodman, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida in a news release. The LWVF is a nonpartisan political organization.

"Our goal is to help every Floridian register, vote, and be heard, and we're grateful that the storm did not silence their voices."

Tuesday the League of Women Voters of Florida filed a complaint against the governor and secretary of state for refusing to extend voter registration in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Wednesday's ruling cited the League's argument that the National Voter Registration Act provides that voter registration cutoff dates may be no more than 30 days before an election.

"This decision means that many more voters will be able to participate in our democracy," said Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program who argued the case on behalf of the LWVF "The right to vote is fundamental, and this is an important outcome."

Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant issued the following statement:

“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.”

"This was the only fair result," said Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. "The League will be working across the state to register voters right up to the extended deadline."

The general election is Nov. 8.

 

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