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Judge Extends Florida Voter Registration Deadline

FILE - Florida voters fill out there ballots in the primary election, August 30, 2016, in Hialeah, Florida. A federal judge extended the deadline to register to vote in Florida in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

A federal judge has extended Florida’s voter registration deadline by a day and agreed to consider a longer extension in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

The initial deadline was Tuesday.

Florida Democrats had argued that Florida’s would-be voters needed more time, especially after Republican Governor Rick Scott last week urged 1.5 million residents to evacuate as the storm approached.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called on Scott to extend the deadline, using his emergency authority. The governor declined, saying Floridians “had enough time to register” before the October 6 evacuation orders.

Judge Mark Walker granted a request by the Florida Democratic Party for a temporary injunction that moved the state’s voter registration deadline from Tuesday to Wednesday at 5 p.m.

In his ruling, the judge called it “poppycock” to claim that “the issue of extending the voter registration deadline is about politics.” The case, he wrote, “is about the right of aspiring eligible voters to register to have their votes counted.”

Walker also agreed to hold a court hearing on the request by the Democrats to extend voter registration to October 18.