TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A judge shared harsh criticism of Florida's election officials on Friday when he denied the motion for a preliminary injunction to extend the state's voter registration deadline after the website crashed on Monday.
"In so ruling, this Court notes that every man who has stepped foot on the Moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly — a task simpler than rocket science," Chief United States District Judge Mark Walker said.
Florida's registration deadline was originally October 5 but users started to get error messages as they attempted to register. Secretary of State Laurel Lee extended the deadline until 7 p.m. on October 6. The extension led a group of voting rights organizations to file a lawsuit asking that it be extended by two extra days.
The plaintiffs of the lawsuit -- New Florida Majority, Dream Defenders and Florida Immigrant Coalition -- argued that the extension did not give Floridians enough time to register online.
Judge Mark Walker said the court couldn't make up for the state's failures when he denied the motion. He said Lee "hastily and briefly" extended the deadline and left Floridians less than seven hours to hear the news and register — all during a normal workday.
Walker said the state could have extended the deadline until midnight but chose not to.
“One would expect the state to make it easier for its citizens to vote," Walker said.
Walker went on to say, “Unfortunately for these potential voters, this Court cannot remedy what the state broke under these circumstances. This Court must consider the consequences of extending voter registration deadline.”
↓ Judge Walker's full ruling ↓