A federal judge in Virginia said Wednesday morning he will reopen voter registration there until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday after a computer outage took down the system on Tuesday, the deadline to register.
Judge John Gibney Jr. said the order would extend both online registration and in-person registration.
"You can't go back in time and register people," Gibney said. Absent his intervention, "Almost an entire day of voter registration will be lost."
The state board of elections and department of elections supported the petition filed by the New Virginia Majority Education Fund and other groups.
“If we have problems with local registrars who decide that this order does not require them to allow additional registration, you have my phone,” he told the parties. “I will give them a suggestion.”
The computer outage was caused when a construction crew hit a fiber data line during their work. For much of the day Tuesday, visitors to the state portal were met with this message: "Due to a network outage the Citizen Portal is temporarily unavailable."
One of the takeaways from this lawsuit, Gibney said, is that crews ought to call ahead to utility companies before digging.
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