Commissioner Fried Calls on Governor DeSantis to Extend Voter Registration Deadline

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Oct 6, 2020

Tallahassee, Fla. — This morning, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, an independently-elected member of the Florida Cabinet, sent a letter to the governor and secretary of state highlighting yesterday’s voter registration website errors, which for hours, caused Floridians to not be able to register to vote. In the letter, Commissioner Fried calls on Governor DeSantis to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline by at least twenty-four hours due to the website’s errors which may have prevented thousands of Floridians from exercising their right to vote in the coming election.

The letter reads as follows:

Governor DeSantis,

As I am sure you are aware, the state’s voter registration website was down for several hours yesterday, and unavailable to Floridians who were trying to utilize the site to register to vote before the October 5th deadline. There were reports of people attempting to register for hours, even after the Secretary of State announced that the website was up and running — this is unacceptable.

The State should have a contingency plan in place for an error of this magnitude, which may have prevented thousands of Floridians from exercising their right to vote in the coming election. The deadline exists for a reason — and it is the right of every person in Florida who chooses to register to vote, to do so up until that deadline.

This is about constitutional freedoms, not about politics — it’s about the fundamental right of everyone who is eligible to register to vote, regardless of political party, to make their voice heard at the ballot box. It is the State’s duty to ensure the website works as anticipated, to allow Floridians to exercise their constitutional rights. With hours taken away from the deadline due to errors, we have witnessed a potential violation of those rights.

Because of this failure, I am calling on the Governor to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline by at least twenty-four hours. Again, this is about fairness, protecting constitutional rights, and staying true to our word as the State of Florida. I sincerely hope that you will do the right thing and extend Florida’s voter registration deadline.

Respectfully,

Nicole “Nikki” Fried
Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services

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