TALLAHASSEE — A judge on Monday extended Florida's voter registration deadline by one more day, through Wednesday, because of Hurricane Matthew, calling it "irrational" for the state to reject the idea.
U.S. District Judge Mark Walker granted the Florida Democratic Party's request for a temporary restraining order, which included a rebuke of Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, who had refused to extend the deadline past its scheduled expiration of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
"Quite simply, it is wholly irrational in this instance for Florida to refuse to extend the voter registration deadline when the state already allows the governor to suspend or move the election date due to an unforeseen emergency," Walker wrote in a 16-page order. "If aspiring eligible Florida voters are barred from registering to vote, then those voters are stripped of one of our most precious freedoms."
The Democrats' lawsuit also asserted that the suspension of mail delivery at the height of the storm could result in some voter registration forms not reaching election offices by Tuesday, disenfranchising more Florida residents.