First-time voter relieved registration was extended in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In Florida, voters got more time to register to vote in the November presidential election after the state’s website crashed.

Florida’s secretary of state said the website was taking 1.1 million requests per hour Monday, which was originally the final day to register.

One of those requests came from Don Riggs, who lives in Jacksonville. The 64-year-old, who uses a wheelchair to get around, said he’s been sick, and he was counting on the website to work properly.

An accident at work left him unable to walk without assistance. For the first time in his life, he decided to do something he’s never done -- register to vote.

“I always thought, what difference is one vote going to make? And it does make a difference,” Riggs said. “If everyone thinks like me, votes, it will make a difference.”

On what was the very last day to register to vote in Florida, Riggs logged on from his phone and tried to register.

“I go to the online voting registration program through my cellphone, and I filled the information out several times, submitted it, and it said it couldn’t verify my information,” Riggs said. “This year, I could not physically go anywhere because I had a medical issue. So, I was stuck in the bed. I relied on the online application. I needed it to be there and to work.”

Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee said the state is working to investigate. Lee, who oversees the voting system, said in a statement Tuesday that the state “will work with our state and federal law-enforcement partners to ensure this was not a deliberate act against the voting process.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the deadline to 7 p.m. Tuesday. It’s a move the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law says left “little time for meaningful notice and opportunity to be provided to the thousands of people impacted across the state.”

The group says it’s pushing for “the state to expand the deadline further.”

About the Author: