2020 Election

Florida’s Voter Registration Website Crashes Hours Before Deadline

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Florida’s online voter registration portal crashed on Monday, the last day to register to vote for November’s general election. 

Florida secretary of state Laurel Lee (R.) tweeted Monday evening that a surge in traffic just hours before the midnight deadline to register to vote compromised the site for around 15 minutes. While some residents regained access to the website by around 6:30 p.m., others still experienced glitches into the evening. 

This election cycle, many voters are looking for alternatives to in-person voting due to the coronavirus pandemic—raising concerns over the effectiveness of mail-in voting, and in some cases, online election services. 

Nearly 213,000 Floridians already registered to vote this year, making the online registration portal one of the state’s most highly trafficked sites. The website has experienced repeated glitches and other issues, and in 2018 also crashed just before the deadline to register to vote for the 2018 midterm elections. 

Pennsylvania, another battleground state, experienced a similar technical issue this weekend. An IT outage at a contracted data center blocked voters from registering to vote and requesting mail-in ballots online. 

While some dismiss concerns over mail-in voting fraud as a hoax propagated by Republicans and President Donald Trump, cases of erroneous ballots and fraudulence have already begun to surface. Nearly 100,000 voters in Brooklyn will receive a second mail-in ballot after the first ones included return envelopes labeled with the wrong name and address. And dozens of voters in Washington state also received improperly labeled mail-in ballots, and some civilian voters in Queens received mail-in ballots labeled for military use.