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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A closer look at the judge who extended voter sign-up deadline



Mark Walker is not a household name in Florida politics. But the Tallahassee-based federal judge has already made an imprint on the 2016 election by ordering a one-day extension of the voter registration deadline in response to a lawsuit filed by the Florida Democratic Party against Gov. Rick Scott and his chief elections official, Ken Detzner.

Walker, 49, of Winter Garden, was nominated to the federal bench by President Barack Obama four years ago. He's a former public defender who practiced law with Steve Andrews, the firebrand plaintiffs' lawyer and Scott critic, before he became a circuit judge in 2009.

With third-party groups mobilized to register new voters, the judge's order could have an impact. He also will rule on a second lawsuit, also brought by Democrats, that challenges a law that allows counties to reject mail ballots with signature mismatch problems.

A closer look at Judge Walker here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 11:55am]


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