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Virginia’s online voter registration system went down on the worst day possible: the last day that residents are allowed to register to vote.

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A federal judge in Richmond has ruled that Virginia must extend online and in-person voter registration until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 15.

The order comes after a construction project accidentally cut a fiber internet line yesterday that took down several state websites, including the Department of Elections website on the last day of voter registration.

U.S. Judge John A. Gibney Jr. made the ruling early Wednesday morning in a lawsuit brought by several voter rights groups.

“There’s really not a lot of harm to the Commonwealth and the state registrars by extending the period of registration in this case,” Gibney Jr. said in the teleconference hearing, “but there is tremendous harm to the people who want to register to

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Virginia’s voter registration website was back up Tuesday afternoon after an outage that lasted about six hours on the commonwealth’s last day to register to vote ahead of the November election.



Virginia voter registration website back up after outage on last day to register


© The Hill
Virginia voter registration website back up after outage on last day to register

The Virginia Department of Elections on Tuesday afternoon said its citizen portal – which allows residents to register to vote, update information and check their registration status – was back up.

“Thank you everyone for your patience! The citizen portal is back up, you can go to http://elections.virginia.gov/voterinfo to register to vote, update information or check your registration status,” the department tweeted.

The department earlier in

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The outage was caused by a broken cable near the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center.


James Martin/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

The last chance to register to vote in Virginia will have to be offline, after a severed cable took the state’s voter registration website down on Tuesday. It’s the last day to register to vote in the state, but the outage could potentially lock out thousands of voters. 

Election officials already anticipated a surge of voters for the 2020 presidential race, many of whom would be registering online because of the coronavirus pandemic. While its website is down, Virginia’s department of elections is encouraging people to register to vote by printing out a paper application. 

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Virginia’s voter registration website went down on Tuesday, the final day for people in the state to register ahead of Election Day. As of early Tuesday afternoon, the website was still not working. 

“Due to a network outage, the Citizen Portal is temporarily unavailable,” the Virginia Department of Elections wrote on its site Tuesday morning. 

Officials said on Twitter that a “fiber cut” in Chester, near the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center, impacted connectivity for multiple state agencies. The cut cable, which appeared to be an accident, affected both the voting portal and the registrar’s offices. 

“We are working with our network providers to restore service as quickly as possible,” the department said. “Please check back later for your online voter registration or absentee needs.”

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Voters looking to register were directed to this statement from the Virginia Department of Elections during the outage on October 13, 2020.

Virginia Department of Elections

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Virginia’s voter registration website went down on Tuesday, the final day to register in the commonwealth ahead of Election Day, officials said.



a stack of flyers on a table: Virginia voter registration system goes down on final day to register


© Getty
Virginia voter registration system goes down on final day to register

The Virginia Department of Elections said Tuesday morning officials were alerted that a fiber cut was impacting data circuits and VPN connectivity for multiple agencies, impacting the citizen portal and the registrar’s office.

“Technicians are on site and working to repair; updates will be provided as work progresses,” officials tweeted as of 11 a.m.

An official with the Virginia Department of Elections was not immediately available for comment when asked for an estimate on when the registration website may be back up. The department did not offer an estimated time in

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Voters cast their ballots for the 2020 election at an early, in-person voting location in Arlington, Virginia, on September 18, 2020.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

Virginia’s Citizen Portal has gone down due to a cut fiber on Tuesday, preventing people from registering to vote online on the last day of voter registration in the state, the Department of Elections says.

Residents can still register to vote by mailing in or dropping off paper applications.

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax said the outages are reported statewide and called for the voter registration deadline to be extended beyond Tuesday. However, the Board of Elections hasn’t announced plans to adjust the deadline.

The outage is also affecting registrar’s offices, the Virginia Department of Elections said on Twitter.

More from NBC4 Washington:

The Citizen Portal, which allows voters to register online, was temporarily unavailable on Tuesday morning, a message posted on the

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Virginia’s online voter registration website went down Tuesday morning on the final day of voter registration because of a cut fiber cable, according to the Department of Elections.

Virginia’s online voter registration website went down Tuesday morning on the final day of voter registration before the 2020 election because of a cut fiber cable, according to the Department of Elections.

Multiple Virginia agencies were affected.

In a statement, the Virginia Department of Elections said the fiber cut happened near a data center operated by the Virginia Information Technology Agency off Route 10 in Chester, Virginia, south of Richmond.

The statement said technicians are “on site and working to repair the cut.”

The cut fiber was “impacting data circuits” and connectivity for the department’s online citizens portal, which allows voters to register online, as well as local registrars’ offices across Virginia.

A message on the voter registration website Tuesday morning read:

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A federal judge heard arguments on Thursday morning about extending Florida’s voter registration deadline again after it had already been extended, following issues with the official state website that occurred earlier this week.

The day the site experienced the issue was also the last day residents could register to vote for the Nov. 3 election.

Voting rights groups sued and took the case to court, claiming Secretary of State Laurel Lee’s extension to 7 p.m on Tuesday wasn’t adequate enough to offset the damage caused by the website crash.

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker grilled lawyers for the state and estimated that even with the extension, far fewer Floridians applied to vote on the online system than compared to registrations in the lead-up to the 2018 midterms, according to Fox 13.

“No one wants to get this right more than we do. Our website fell short of the standards

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A federal judge on Friday struck down a motion to extend voter registration in Florida by three days after a technical problem on the state’s website that might have prevented as many as thousands of people from casting their votes in the election next month.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker in his ruling called the decision “an incredibly close call” but said the state’s interest in preventing chaos in its already precarious – and perennially chaotic – election outweighs the substantial burden imposed on the right to vote.”

Cartoons on the 2020 Election

Walker said the court “is not persuaded that an injunction … would not be adverse to the public interest,” adding that the “court is mindful of the potential for voter confusion that could result” from extending the registration deadline.

Despite his ruling, Walker’s decision was filled with criticism of the state.

“This court notes that every

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A federal judge has denied a motion to extend voter registration in Florida even though a computer meltdown on the final day of registration might have prevented thousands of potential voters from taking part in November’s presidential election.

In a 29-page ruling on Friday morning, U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Walker noted the historical problems that the state seems to have with elections.

“Notwithstanding the fact that cinemas across the country remain closed, somehow, I feel like I’ve seen this movie before. Just shy of a month from election day, with the earliest mail-in ballots beginning to be counted, Florida has done it again,” Walker wrote.

Data filed by the state indicates that 50,000 people registered during the extended time period. Based on previous trends, the judge noted, perhaps more than 20,000 additional people might have also registered to vote, if they had been able to access the system.

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