Virginia voter registration website crash leads to lawsuit

Published: Oct. 19, 2016 at 10:44 AM EDT
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A civil rights group has filed a federal lawsuit against Virginia election officials after the state's online voter registration system crashed Monday, preventing some Virginians from signing up to vote.

Local news organizations report that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on behalf of Kathy and Michael Kern, a Charlottesville couple who failed to register by Monday's deadline after the registration website faced technical issues.

The online voter registration system slowed down Monday and at times became completely unresponsive, just before the final deadline for folks to register.

The department said in an online statement that it made changes to the website to allow voters to meet the deadline. People who were having trouble registering were encouraged to wait a few minutes and try again.

The lawsuit asks for a court injunction ordering the Virginia Department of Elections and the State Board of Elections to extend the registration deadline by at least three days.

State elections commissioner Edgardo Cortes says the deadline is specified in state code, which provides no option for an extension.