More organizations are looking to take part in a federal hearing Wednesday about how long Florida’s voter registration deadline should be extended because of Hurricane Matthew.
The state’s League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union want to argue before Tallahassee’s U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in support of the lawsuit filed Sunday by the Florida Democratic Party.
Democrats want what had been Tuesday’s deadline — already pushed by Walker to 5 p.m. Wednesday — stretched to Oct. 18.
The ACLU of Florida is seeking to intervene on behalf of two voter registration groups, the New Florida Majority and Mi Familia Vota, which contend they had voter-registration events planned that had to be scrapped because of Hurricane Matthew and the state of emergency declared by Gov. Rick Scott.
The league is supporting the Democrats’ proposed weeklong extension.
“Decades of experience tell us that the days leading up to the deadline – including the weekend – are the most crucial part of the registration calendar, and we have lost precious time,” said Pamela Goodman of Palm Beach Gardens, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida
In his order, Walker acknowledged that Florida’s elections law doesn’t address the deadline issue and that Scott lacked the authority to change it. For his part, Scott said Tuesday he would recommend still-to-be-determined fixes to state elections law to next year’s Legislature.