As Rick Scott was traveling around the state last week urging Floridians to evacuate from Hurricane Matthew saying the storm would kill them, he refused to give those same people extra time to register to vote even though the deadline was just days away. He said that people had plenty of time to register already, not seeming to care they would lose several days to do so.
Yesterday a judge disagreed with Scott and ordered a one day extension and set a hearing on perhaps extending it further:
A federal judge in Florida late Monday ordered the state to extend the deadline for registering to vote by one day and set a hearing on whether to extend it even further.
Under Florida law, voters had until Tuesday, Oct. 11, to register to vote. But Judge Mark Walker said in view of the disruption caused by Hurricane Matthew, the state should have extended it to Wednesday.
The order came in response to a lawsuit filed Sunday by Florida Democrats. They said when Gov. Rick Scott ordered evacuations as the hurricane headed for the state, he forced voters "to choose between their safety and the safety of their families on one hand, and their fundamental right to vote on the other."
The state Democrats had asked the judge to extend the registration deadline by a week, until October 18. He set a hearing for 10 a.m. Wednesday on that request.
Walker said Florida law gives the governor authority to suspend or move an election date due to an unforeseen emergency. Given that, the judge said, "it is wholly irrational in this instance for Florida to refuse to extend the voter registration deadline.
"It has been suggested that the issue of extending the voter registration deadline is about politics. Poppycock," Walker wrote.
"This case is about the right of aspiring eligible voters to register and to have their votes counted. Nothing could be more fundamental to our democracy."
While Rick Scott has posted an extensive list of updates on hurricane recovery, cleanup, and government resources, his list makes no mention of the voter registration deadline extension.