Florida Democrats sue Gov. Rick Scott over voter registration deadline
Florida Democrats filed a lawsuit Sunday against Gov. Rick Scott asking that the voter registration deadline be extended by a week because of disruptions caused by Hurricane Matthew.
Democrats went to U.S. District Court in Tallahassee and cited Scott’s demand on Thursday that coastal residents flee the approaching storm and his refusal that day to extend the registration deadline beyond Tuesday. The suit seeks a new deadline of Oct. 18.
“Defendant Scott refused to extend the voter registration deadline for the very citizens heeding his orders to evacuate — forcing voters to choose between their safety and the safety of their families, on one hand, and their fundamental right to vote, on the other hand,” the lawsuit states. “Many Floridians who would have registered to vote prior to the Oct. 11 registration deadline have been displaced or otherwise prevented from registering.”
Scott’s office said it was reviewing the lawsuit. On Thursday, Scott flatly rejected calls by Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager to extend the voter registration deadline.
“I’m not going to extend it,” said the Republican governor, who chairs a pro-Donald Trump super PAC. “Everybody has had a lot of time to register. On top of that, we have lots of opportunities to vote: early voting, absentee voting, Election Day. So I don’t intend to make any changes.”
The Democrats’ lawsuit also names Secretary of State Ken Detzner, the state’s chief elections official, as a defendant.