As 35 counties in North Florida are in a state of emergency preparing for Hurricane Michael, the Florida Democratic Party is asking Governor Scott to extend voter registration past the original October 9th deadline.
In the request to Governor Scott, FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo wrote that “The impending hurricane will adversely impact the ability of eligible, but unregistered, individuals who may have waited until the last day to register to vote. These individuals may forego registering, in view of your warnings regarding the danger of the storm, the need to prepare, and anticipated and existing evacuation orders.
“While 11 Counties have already issued evacuation orders, it is expected that even more local governments in the area of the emergency declaration will consider closing offices and issuing evacuation orders on Tuesday in anticipation of the hurricane’s landfall, also affecting the ability of these individuals to register.”
Meanwhile Florida’s Secretary of State Ken Detzner has issued the following statement:
The Florida Department of State is committed to ensuring that all eligible Floridians are able to register to vote, including those Floridians who may be impacted by Hurricane Michael, which is forecasted to make landfall as a category 3 storm on Florida’s Gulf Coast. We encourage all Floridians to use the Department’s secure, fast, and easy online voter registration website: RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov. The website is mobile-friendly and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Department’s efforts to launch voter registration online have been successful with more than 40,000 people utilizing this new tool to register to vote or update their voter registration online during the past week.
Florida law requires the voter registration books to be closed on the 29th day before each election. For the For the 2018 General Election, the deadline is Tuesday, October 9, 2018. At the same time, thirty-five Florida counties are currently under a declared state of emergency due to the approach of Hurricane Michael.
In my capacity as the Chief Elections Officer of the State of Florida and pursuant to my authority in section 97.012(16), Florida Statutes (2018), and as directed by Governor Rick Scott, I hereby issue this directive regarding the book closing deadline established by section 97.055, Florida Statutes.
Registration applications can be collected after Oct 9
Any Supervisor of Elections whose office is closed on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, the book closing deadline, as a result of Hurricane Michael is authorized to accept paper voter registration applications for the 2018 General Election on the next day that his or her office is reopened. This will ensure that each Supervisor of Elections Office has the same amount of days to register voters at their offices.
On line applications must be by midnight Oct. 9
The deadline to submit an online voter registration application will not change and will remain at 11:59 p.m., October 9, 2018. Please notify the Division of Elections if your offices will be closed on October 9, 2018, due to Hurricane Michael and the date your office reopens following the storm. This will allow Department staff to process voter registration applications consistent with this directive.