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Clinton's campaign wants Florida to extend its voter registration deadline

Florida's deadline is October 11, but Hurricane Matthew is set to hit the state

Washington CNN  — 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he will not extend the deadline for voter registration in the state despite concerns over the impact of Hurricane Matthew.

The Republican governor told reporters Thursday he doesn’t “intend to make changes,” saying “people have had time to register.”

Hillary Clinton’s campaign earlier Thursday had called on Florida officials to extend the state’s Tuesday voter registration deadline because of Hurricane Matthew’s potential disruption of late sign-ups.

Hurricane politics, on The Daily David Chalian

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters Thursday, “the one thing that we are hoping and expecting is that officials in Florida will adapt deadlines to account for the storm.”

“The voter registration deadline in Florida is October 11, and our hope would be that a little bit more time will be given for people who were expecting to be able to get registered before the election,” he said. “We certainly expect that the governor and local officials will make that possible.”

How hurricanes can upend politics

Mook said the Clinton campaign’s first priority is safety, and urged Floridians to heed local officials’ warnings that the storm is deadly.

The hurricane has frozen the presidential campaign in the key battleground state, interrupting the campaigns’ voter mobilization efforts just 33 days from the November 8 election.

“We are focused in particular on our staff and volunteers and making sure that they are safe,” Mook said, “so that’s our priority and we’ll get back to campaigning when it’s appropriate.”

Rick Hasen, a University of California-Irvine professor who runs the Election Law Blog, predicted that Democrats would sue if the Florida voter registration deadline wasn’t extended.

“First, displaced Floridians who have not registered will want to register, and if FL officials don’t extend deadlines, Dems will sue,” Hasen tweeted.

“3/ Displaced Floridians will want to vote absentee,but absentee ballots that were mailed won’t be available for some, creating complications,” he followed up, in a series of tweets.