Nearly 28,000 Virginians register to vote after judge extends deadline

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Tens of thousands of people registered to vote during a two-day extension ordered by a judge after a civil rights group sued the Department of Elections and other government entities.

The Department of Elections said Saturday that 27,952 people applied to vote between the judge’s order last Thursday and the new 11:59 p.m. deadline Friday.

The New Virginia Majority Education Fund filed the lawsuit after people complained of the voter registration website crashing for hours before the original Monday deadline.

Registrations were accepted online, by mail and in person, according to a news release from the Department of Elections.

“As the last 36 hours shows, we have had an overwhelming demand from voters this year to register to vote or to update their registration status, and we are dedicated to ensuring that every eligible Virginian has the opportunity to participate in the November election,” said Department of Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortes. “This is the first presidential election in which voters have been able to register or update their records online, and at times our technology has had a difficult time keeping up
with this unprecedented demand.”

Governor Terry McAuliffe predicts a record amount of people showing up on Election Day. On Monday, he spoke to 10 On Your Side about voter registration in the Commonwealth.

“People talk about voter apathy, we’ve never seen anything like it. In the month of October, in the first 17 days, we had 120,000 people register. Virginia has never seen anything like that before,” McAuliffe said. “Unfortunately, Facebook went out and Google on that Monday, and said, ‘hey go check your status.’ We wish they hadn’t done that because — not to register — but… it just crashed the system. So we reopened, a federal judge opened it up and 28,000 people registered, so it’s really spectacular what’s happened, but we have to make sure we have the capacity.”

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