On Tuesday morning, the Florida Democratic Party filed a lawsuit to extend the October 9th voter registration deadline in the wake of Hurricane Michael, which is set to devastate parts of Florida’s Panhandle. If Secretary Ken Detzner does not extend the voter registration deadline in affected areas by one week, thousands of eligible voters will be disenfranchised.
The complaint outlines the constitutional reasons for requesting the lawsuit, arguing that the 1st and 14th amendments of the US Constitution are violated.
From the suit filed: “Although the Secretary has proposed a single-day registration extension in some counties to accommodate a subset of voters affected by Hurricane Michael, his “solution” is insufficient and confusing. It does not adequately protect the voting rights of Florida citizens who cannot register to vote by the October 9 registration deadline.”
The lawsuit goes on to explain that “Voters will face significant hurdles to registration because of the disruption caused by Hurricane Michael. Voters attempting to register online may face internet outages due to the storm.
FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo released the following statement in response to the lawsuit:
“Thousands of eligible Florida voters who are complying with evacuation requests and preparing for the storm may not have the opportunity to register to vote as a result of Hurricane Michael. Governor Scott and Secretary Detzner have failed to adequately protect the rights of these eligible voters, and should extend the deadline one week in light of Hurricane Michael. As Chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, we are encouraging people to listen to their elected leaders, ensure the safety of themselves and their families during the course of this Hurricane and we hope that Governor Scott and Secretary Detzner will comply with our requests, so that Floridians who are focused on keeping themselves safe are not unnecessarily prohibited from their constitutional right to vote.”