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Politics

Judge extends Florida's voter registration to Oct. 18

Democrats had asked Gov. Rick Scott to extend the deadline, but Scott turned down the request. Then Democrats sued.
12 Oct 2016 – 11:25 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A federal judge has extended voter registration for six more days in the battleground state of Florida, due to the disruption and damage from Hurricane Matthew.

During a hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker extended the deadline until Oct. 18.

Walker had already extended the Oct. 11 deadline one day, after the Florida Democratic Party filed a lawsuit last weekend, following the hurricane's brush with Florida's east coast.

Democrats had asked Gov. Rick Scott to extend the deadline, but Scott turned down the request and said people have had enough time to register. “Look, this is, this is politics,” Scott said when asked about the possibility some eligible voters might lose their change to register.

On Monday a judge said the state’s refusal was “wholly irrational” adding that registering to vote was “one of our most precious freedoms.” he added

"It has been suggested that the issue of extending the voter registration deadline is about politics. Poppycock. This case is about the right of aspiring eligible voters to register and to have their votes counted. Nothing could be more fundamental to our democracy," Walker wrote.

Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said Tuesday the state would accept the court's decision on the deadline. The governor's office offered no defense Wednesday for keeping the Oct. 12 deadline in place.

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