Federal judge reopens voter registration in Virginia News
Federal judge reopens voter registration in Virginia

A federal judge on Thursday ordered [order, PDF] voter registration in Virginia to be reopened through midnight Friday, October 21. US District Judge Claude Hilton for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] made this ruling [Politico report] after Virginia’s registration website had technical difficulties earlier in the week. Hilton stated this made “amends” for the state’s voter registration site being down beginning mid-afternoon of the last day to register. Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law [advocacy website] sued [CNN report] after the site had difficulties and requested a new 72-hour registration period. However, Hilton found that 72-hours was not necessary to notify potential registrants and give them time to make up for the lost afternoon of registration.

Voting issues have become contentious as the presidential election approaches. Last week a federal judge in Florida extended the voter registration deadline [JURIST report] by six days due to the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Earlier this month a federal court issued [JURIST report] a preliminary injunction in favor of the Pyramid Lake and Walker River Paiute Native American tribes challenging Nevada’s voting procedure of failing to provide polling places on Native American reservations. Late last month California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation [JURIST report] clarifying felons’ voting rights.