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Politics

Democrats Lose: 'No Justification' for Week Statewide Extension of Voter Registration, Judge Rules

October 11, 2018 - 11:30am

A federal judge has rejected a request from the Florida Democratic Party to force the state to extend a voter-registration deadline because of Hurricane Michael.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle turned down the party’s request for a temporary restraining order to extend the registration deadline to Oct. 16, a week later than the original Tuesday deadline. The party contended an extension was needed because the hurricane, which devastated parts of the Panhandle on Wednesday, could prevent people from registering to vote in the Nov. 6 election.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner this week issued a directive authorizing county elections supervisors whose offices were closed Tuesday to accept paper registration applications on the day that their offices reopen. Detzner did not extend a Tuesday night deadline for voters to register online.

Hinkle wrote that the Democratic Party believed the directive did not go “far enough” --- but he denied the request for a temporary restraining order, with a few caveats.

“The party has asked for a statewide extension of one week for all forms of registration. But there is no justification for this,” Hinkle wrote. “Some parts of the state were affected little by the hurricane. Extending the deadline in those parts of the state would not level the playing field or provide a remedy for the hurricane’s effects. Large numbers of voters register shortly before the deadline, but that happens routinely, with or without a hurricane. A state could set a later deadline or no deadline at all, but that is not the course Florida has chosen. The party does not challenge in this lawsuit the state’s decision to set a deadline 29 days before an election.”

The caveats included in the order dealt with how Detzner’s directive would be carried out. For example, Hinkle sought to make sure Detzner’s directive is considered mandatory for the counties where elections offices were closed Tuesday. Similarly, he sought to make sure it applies on the first “full” business day county elections offices open all of their locations.

“Nothing in the directive suggests the secretary intended anything contrary to these understandings,” Hinkle wrote. “If the secretary asserts these understandings are not correct, or if a supervisor fails to heed the secretary’s directive as properly understood, the party of course may renew its motion for a temporary restraining order.”

In the case filed Tuesday, the Democratic Party argued that Detzner’s directive was “insufficient and confusing” and said it “does not adequately protect the voting rights of Florida citizens who cannot register to vote by the October 9 registration deadline.” 

Without the extension, “there is a strong likelihood that the right to vote of thousands of Floridians, including plaintiffs’ members and constituents, will be severely burdened (if not eliminated entirely) in the 2018 general election,” the party’s lawyers wrote.

Three groups --- Common Cause, New Majority Florida Education Fund and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund --- filed a similar case against the state Wednesday. That case remained pending Thursday morning, according to an online docket.

Comments

Yeah, let's cancel the debate because it is the right thing to do, but lets not do the right thing and extend voter registration. Why? Because it doesn't benefit our party...shameful.

How is it shameful?! The deadline to register passed before the storm made landfall. The only people affected are in the landing zone, who missed the DL by one day due to office closures.

They need to stop arguing about registration and start figuring out how these counties are going to be able to vote. 3 weeks, 4 days is not enough time to recover from this awful storm.

Oh, brother! Is there no end to the Leftists trying (and FAILING) to foul up Government? The Judge made a good decision!

Too bad dems! Trying to resurrect more dead voters and illegals?! The deadline was oct 9th! If you couldn’t your butt to register in the last 9 months why wait? All libs want to do is piss and mosn about EVERYTHING! Elections have consequences! ( I’ve heard that somewhere before.....)

Just knew we'd hear from Ted and Jerry, two thirds of the Sour Grapes Brigade. All we need now is Ocean Joe.

And here I am! Reminds me of the Republican dominated Supreme Court halting the Florida Supreme Court's order directing the recount in Florida in Bush v. Gore. That thievery got even with the Democrats for Chicago and Kennedy, but it ultimately gave us the financial meltdown and the disastrous war in Iraq. Maybe this will give us a Senator Scott and oil rigs dotting our shoreline. But as long as you make your quick buck, the air and water for your grandchildren wont really matter. Permalink thanks for the inclusion. Unlike Ted and Jerry, I voted for Trump. They are much smarter than I am.

It is one thing to vote for Trump and another if one still supports him after his fiasco so far...………...Obama gave Trump a great economy and under Trump it is about to take a dive as his ignorant polices raise interest rates by tax cuts, raise the price of oil by cutting supplies from Iran, raise the price of many things from tariffs, a Tax on Americans and uncertainty caused the 1300 point drop the last 2 days...………..Trump openly racist comments like fine people walk with Nazis, KKK and his treatment of football players for protesting blacks getting killed is purely racists and repubs know it...………..The decent actual fiscally nd conservative no longer care to be associated with such vile people have left the party and have driven indep3ndents to the dems 2-1...…………..The best thing to save the repub party is t vote dem and clean the republican house of the deplorables that have taken over that have made it fiscally and morally bankrupt...………….And I say this as a fiscal conservative taught it by repubs.……….. Sadly they don't follow what they taught causing our massive $21T debt an Trump doubling the deficit in just a yr.

I would say it's just the opposite. The disgusting way Dems are acting is pissing off Republicans (and Independents)....and that will be reflected in an unprecedented turnout against the Dumbs...(oops, I mean Dems)

The fact that The Republican Party of Florida, Scott, and Bondi did NOT suggest and support an extension of the voter registration deadline in the face of the disruption caused by the hurricane tells you all you need to know. The Republican Party feeds on vote suppression. Always has. Always will. They're all undoubtedly jumping with joy that so many voting precincts have been destroyed by the hurricane and that so many people will be pre-occupied with their personal post-hurricane issues rather than voting!

Wrong...……...Dems win because it proves again how against various people voting repubs are...…………..This is just the latest where they have long shown this and now another reminder just before the election...………….Now you've driven decent people from your party you have far less support...…………….You'll lose a lot of seats and likely Governor, US Senate, several house seats too...……………….And ee couldn't have done it without you deplorables, about all that is left of the repub party. ……………... Thanks to you and Trump, you've pissed off a lot of people enough to finally vote.

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