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Politics / Issues
Here is what you need about the 2020 elections across the greater Tampa Bay region.

Gov. DeSantis Extends Voter Registration Deadline After Site Crash

Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium
WFSU

The deadline has been extended a day, to Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is extending the state’s voter registration deadline after heavy traffic crashed the state’s online system and potentially prevented thousands from enrolling to cast ballots in next month’s presidential election.

DeSantis says he will extend the deadline that expired Monday until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Secretary of State Laurel Lee also directed supervisors of elections, driver’s license offices and tax collectors to stay open to accept applications.

“You can have the best site in the world, and sometimes there are hiccups on it," DeSantis said. "So this way, even when people get off of work, they are going to have until 7 o’clock where they can be able to go do that.”

The announcement came shortly after a state official told The Associated Press that at times more than half a million attempts an hour hit the system Monday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the state’s top elected Democrat, says the state should have prepared for a surge in website demand.

“Of course, the grassroots organizations on both sides were knocking on doors until the very last moment [Monday], trying to encourage people to get involved in the electoral process," Fried said. "So, the onus is on the system to be working.”

Groups engaged in registration efforts had been sweeping the state in advance of Monday’s deadline, in what many believe was a show of enthusiasm for the upcoming face-off between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Information from News Service of Florida was used in this report.