Monday night was the deadline to register to vote but some registrants were unable to complete the process because of a malfunction, prompting the deadline extension.
Late Monday night, people who visited RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov got a slow system response or error message. Depending on which device they were using, some were able to register after several tries while others could not gain access. The system was down at midnight.
As a result, the voter registration process in Florida has been extended through 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, so people have the opportunity to register today if they were unable to do so yesterday.
State and federal authorities are investigating whether there were any “deliberate acts against the voting process” that might have affected the registration process in Florida on its last day. The Florida Department of State confirmed Tuesday they are working with law enforcement agencies to look into the causes of the outage.
In light of the pandemic, the site has been promoted as an expeditious way to register. People can register anytime and anywhere online, without having to visit electoral or driver’s license offices, tax collection sites, or libraries.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said the situation began on Monday at around 5 p.m. “It was an inordinate amount of traffic for about seven hours until midnight,” he said.
According to The New York Times, some Florida state officials said the registration site was experiencing more than a million requests per hour.
After the situation, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) demanded an extension of the voter registration process.
The situation in Florida coincided with an outage in Pennsylvania’s online voter registration and mail-in ballot application system that lasted two days.
The Pennsylvania system outage began late on Saturday; voting services were restored at around 7 a.m., Monday.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said an equipment failure at a data center caused online outages for the Department of State, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and other state government entities.
Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania Department of State secretary, said the problem involved contractor’s equipment, with no evidence of “malicious interference.”
Florida and Pennsylvania are important swing states in the upcoming election. Both have large Puerto Rican populations.
AP contributed to this story.