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Cut power cable throws last day of Virginia voter registration into chaos

Cut power cable throws last day of Virginia voter registration into chaos

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Virginia may be for lovers, but the state’s citizens aren’t loving the fact that the state’s entire voter registration system was inaccessible on the very last day to register to vote before the presidential election.

The Virginia Department of Elections tweeted out the news this morning that The Virginia Information Technology Agency was working to repair a fiber line that was accidentally cut and that then severed communications links that the voter registration server relied on for data connectivity.

The outage means that those who have waited until the last minute to check or change their voter registration status may not be able to register online today if the issue is not fixed by the day’s end.

Local officials were urging voters in the state to check their registration at vote.elections.virginia.gov., however, it appears as if that site was also down due to the cut cable. It seems as if the only option available to residents seeking last-minute registration was to do so at their local DMV offices.

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Critics of the state government faulted state voting officials claiming that they knew that the voter registration system was unreliable.

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According to The Hill, this wasn’t the first time that Virginia has experienced registration problems on the last day of registration.

“Virginia faced a similar problem four years ago, when its system reportedly crashed the day of the voter registration deadline,” The Hill wrote.

“A judge ordered Virginia to extend its voter registration deadline in 2016 after civil rights groups, including the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, sued for the extension due to the website crash.”

Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax called for the voter registration deadline to be extended yet again this year to make up for the inability to access the registration system in the final crucial hours of the registration period.

Virginia is the second state to experience problems with its online voter registration system on the last day before the deadline after Florida went through a similar snafu last week.

Hopefully, the problems won’t prevent a significant number of potential voters from registering, but they do provide an object lesson to voters to not wait until the last minute to check that their registration is current and that they are indeed eligible to legally cast a ballot in their state.

Please check your own registration today and then cast your ballot for the Democratic Biden/Harris ticket (and every other Democrat on your ballot) as early as you possibly can!

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter. 

Original reporting by Khalida Volou and Jonathan Franklin at WUSA9 and by Rebecca Klar at The Hill.

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