On State's Final Day of Voter Registration, a Big Gaffe

Fiber optic cable is accidentally cut, shutting down Virginia's online voter registration
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 13, 2020 12:39 PM CDT
Virginia's Last Day of Voter Registration Does Not Go Well
In this Sept. 18, 2020, photo, Alexandria residents wait in line to cast their ballots for the November presidential election on the first day of early voting in Virginia.   (John McDonnell/The Washington Post via AP, File)

A severed fiber optic cable shut down Virginia's online voter registration system Tuesday, the last day to register before the November general election, per the AP. The Virginia Department of Elections said in statement that a “fiber cut” was affecting connectivity for multiple agencies, including the citizen portal and registrar's offices, and technicians were working to repair the problem. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency said the cable was inadvertently cut during a Chesterfield County roadside utilities project but had no estimate on when it would be repaired. The Washington Post reports that election officials in northern Virginia have been forced to register voters using paper forms.

This isn't the first time technical problems affected Virginians' ability to register to vote under a looming deadline. In 2016, an unknown number of people were not able to register because of unprecedented demand. A voter advocacy group, the New Virginia Majority Education Fund, sued for an extension and a federal judge granted a brief one to make up for the computer glitches that occurred. Kristen Clarke, executive director of the lawyers' group that filed the 2016 lawsuit, said in a statement that Virginia election officials “have again failed the public.” (Virginia's governor was a possible kidnapping target.)

(More Virginia stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.