Florida Voting: Dems Accuse GOP of 'Voter Suppression' after Registration Site Crashes ahead of Deadline

A voting booth at a polling center inside a fire station during the Democratic presidential primary election in Miami, Fla., March 17, 2020. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Florida’s voter registration website for the upcoming general election crashed on Monday, just hours before the midnight deadline to register, prompting the state’s Democratic officials to accuse their Republican counterparts of “voter suppression.”

Some Florida residents reported getting error messages and slow responses when they attempted to register to vote at RegistertovoteFlorida.gov.

Just before 6p.m., Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee wrote in a tweet that the site was “online and working” again after only a 15-minute period of delays.

“Due to high volume, for about 15 minutes, some users experienced delays while trying to register,” Lee said. “We have increased capacity. You can register until midnight tonight. Thank you to those who immediately brought this to our attention.”

However, some Twitter users replied to Lee’s tweet saying they were still experiencing technical issues and unable to register.

Florida Democrats immediately accused Republicans including Governor Ron DeSantis of voter suppression over the site’s failure.

Juan Peñalosa, the Florida Democratic Party executive director, said the GOP’s voter “suppression machine is in full effect.” He noted that the website had also glitched just before the deadline to register to vote in the 2018 elections. The site also crashed after March 17, when Florida held its presidential primary election.

“Not planning for a voter registration surge is voter suppression. Not ensuring everyone who wants to register can do so is voter suppression. Not extending the deadline is voter suppression,” Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried wrote in a tweet to DeSantis.

Florida Democratic Party chair Terrie Rizzo called the technical issues the “latest attempt from the Republican leaders in Florida to limit democracy.”

Florida is considered a must-win state for President Trump’s reelection in November, just four weeks away. Trump won Florida in 2016 with 49 percent of the popular vote over Hillary Clinton’s 47.8 percent.

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