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Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Secures Victory Extending Virginia Voter Registration Deadline Until Midnight Friday

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From Progress VA:

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Secures Victory Extending Virginia Voter Registration Deadline Until Midnight Friday

Extension allows qualified Virginia voters additional time to register for November 8th election

Alexandria, VA – This morning, a federal district court ordered state election officials in Virginia to extend Virginia’s voter registration deadline until midnight Friday. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed the suit, New Virginia Majority Education Fund v. Department of Elections, Tuesday evening in the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of New Virginia Majority Education Fund, the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, and Michael and Kathy Kern of Charlottesville. The lawsuit was filed because eligible Virginians were denied their right to vote when they were unable to register by the October 17th deadline because the online voter registration portal malfunctioned during the final days of voter registration, and was largely unavailable during the final hours before the voter registration deadline. Under the order, eligible Virginia voters have until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 21st to submit their voter registration application. Per the order, the defendants will provide additional information to the public regarding their opportunity to register to participate in the November 8th election.

Virginia residents will be able to submit voter registration forms on-line, in person or have them postmarked by no later than October 21st, 2016, to ensure that they are able to vote in the November general election. Voters who have questions about their registration status are urged to call the nonpartisan Election Protection hotlines: 866-OUR-VOTE for English language assistance, 888-VE-Y-VOTA for Spanish language assistance, and 888-API-VOTE for assistance in several Asian languages.

 

Statement of Tram Nguyen, co-executive director of New Virginia Majority Education Fund:

“We’re pleased with today’s order to extend Virginia’s voter registration deadline to ensure every eligible Virginian who wants to register to vote is able. The right to vote is at the heart of what it means to be an American. For thousands of Virginians who recently had their right to vote restored, this order means they will have a voice in November, many for the first time. That’s something we can all be proud of.”

 

Statement of Julie Emery, executive director of the Virginia Civic Engagement Table:

“Today’s order means dedicated Virginians who were unable to register on Monday through no fault of their own will have a voice in this election. No one should be denied the right to participate in our democracy because of an underfunded election administration system.”

 

Statement of Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

“This is a victory for people across the state of Virginia for people who seek to register and vote this election cycle. Extending the voter registration deadline though the end of the day on Friday was essential to help ensure that eligible voters had a fair opportunity to participate in the election this November.”

Statement of John Freedman, partner at Arnold & Porter:

“Both parties recognized that this extension was necessary and appropriate to protect eligible Virginians’ right to vote. We are pleased that the court  extended the voter registration deadline when circumstances unfairly prevented qualified individuals from registering to vote.”