WASHINGTON—The Virginia voter registration deadline has been extended after the online registration portal was offline for hours due to a fiber optic cable being severed. The new deadline to register online is Oct. 15 by 11:59 p.m.
The cable was cut on Oct. 13, the day of the original deadline, and rendered the site inoperable until around 4 p.m. that day. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency said the cable was inadvertently cut during a Chesterfield County roadside utilities project.
Mark Herring, Virginia’s attorney general, announced on Twitter on the evening of Oct. 13 that his office had filed a brief requesting the court extend the voter registration deadline, which was subsequently granted.
“We need to make up for the time lost today,” Herring wrote on Twitter. “We have 21 days until the most important election of our lifetimes, and I want to make sure every eligible Virginian who wants to vote can.”
Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Chris Piper said he welcomes the court’s decision.
As of Aug. 31, the state had 5,825,332 registered voters—295,590 more than in 2016, according to the Department of Elections website.
In the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton won Virginia with 212,030 more votes than Donald Trump, with a voter turnout of 72 percent. The state has 13 electoral votes up for grabs.
The Department of Elections didn’t immediately provide to The Epoch Times more recent registration data and party affiliation data.
So far in 2020, more than 163,500 Virginians have registered to vote. However, April and May numbers were about one-twentieth of those of the previous two months, most likely due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. The Board of Elections noted a net gain of 46,677 voters during August.
The last Republican president to win Virginia was George W. Bush in 2004.