Judge Mark E. Walker (photo: FSU)

On Thursday, while saying the State of Florida “failed its citizens” US district court judge Mark E Walker denied a motion to extend voter registration in Florida. On Monday, just hours before the voter registration deadline, the state’s website crashed, possibly preventing thousands of people from registering to vote in the November presidential election.

In a 29-page overnight ruling on Friday, Walker rejected calls for an extension. He said the decision was “an incredibly close call,” adding “Every man who has stepped foot on the moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly – a task simpler than rocket science.”

“Notwithstanding the fact that cinemas across the country remain closed, somehow, I feel like I’ve seen this movie before. Just shy of a month from election day, with the earliest mail-in ballots beginning to be counted, Florida has done it again,” Walker wrote on his ruling.

He added: “This case is not about Floridians missing registration deadlines. This case is also not a challenge to a state statute. This case is about how a state failed its citizens.”

After the website issues on Monday, Florida’s Secretary of State Laurel Lee extended the deadline until Tuesday at 7 p.m. Data from the state indicates that 50,000 people registered during the extended time period.

However, Judge Walker called Secretary Lee’s actions a “half measure” adding that “She hastily and briefly extended the registration period and ordered Florida’s supervisors of election to accept applications submitted by the secretary’s new ‘book closing’ deadline.”

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