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Florida’s voter registration system experienced ‘intermittent issues’

The state has added a notification to the website apologizing for any inconvenience and saying it’s working to resolve the issue “as expeditiously as possible.”

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Florida’s online voter registration system experienced “intermittent issues” Sunday that could have kept some residents from registering to vote online.

Some users who went to RegistertovoteFlorida.gov on Sunday encountered a 503 error saying the service was unavailable.

The Florida Department of State said Sunday evening that some users experienced issues but others have been able to submit voter registration applications. It said Sunday evening that the site appeared to be up and running. A reporter briefly encountered the error Monday morning, but the website came up when the site was refreshed.

The state temporarily added a notification to the website apologizing for any inconvenience and saying it was working to resolve the issue “as expeditiously as possible.”

It has not responded to a question of what caused the problem.

The website issue came at a time when some of the other channels for registering to vote are less available.

Third-party voter registration efforts have been stymied by social-distancing guidelines. Local driver’s license offices have been closed to the public amid the spread of the coronavirus, and some elections offices have also temporarily closed their doors to the public.

The voter registration site’s issues Sunday prompted a call of “voter suppression” from the Florida Democratic Party on Twitter on Sunday afternoon

It’s unclear how many people are trying to get registered to vote right now.

Dustin Chase, a spokesman with the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, said he only saw about 50 people on his organization’s website all last week — an indication, perhaps, that there is not much interest in elections at this particular moment as people focus on the coronavirus.

Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political scientist professor, tweeted Saturday that he expects to see a slowdown in voter registration activity. “That will have some real implications come November,” he wrote.

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