Florida’s Voter Registration Portal Crashed After Receiving 1.1 Million Requests in 1 Hour
Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post via ZUMA Wire
For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.Officials in Florida extended the state’s voter registration deadline after the online registration portal was hit with roughly 1.1 million requests per hour on Monday, which was the last day to register to vote online, according to Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee. Now Florida voters have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to register to vote.
In response to the site crashing and the new deadline, a coalition of voting rights groups filed a lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis and Lee to extend the online voter registration deadline for at least two more days. Tuesday evening, they said in a statement, “is simply not enough time for voting rights groups to re-engage canvassers and volunteers and to educate voters that they can try to register online again.”
The crash was likely caused by “repeated attempts by those who failed to get into the system,” the Associated Press reported Tuesday. An earlier AP report said the site suffered “unexpectedly heavy traffic that can’t be immediately explained.” An official with the company contracted to support the state’s registration website was quoted as saying there was no evidence of a cyber attack.
Lee said the state was “working with our state and federal law-enforcement partners to ensure this was not a deliberate act against the voting process.” A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment.
According to Politico, the number of requests per hour is more than quadruple the 213,000 people who have used the site to register to vote thus far in 2020.