28,000 Register to Vote After Virginia Deadline Extended Because of Website Problems
By Katherine Hafner
Almost 28,000 Virginia residents registered to vote after the deadline was extended this week, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.
A federal judge had ordered the deadline extended to Friday at midnight after issues with the department's website prevented some from registering by the original Monday deadline.
The mandate stemmed from a lawsuit filed by a civil rights group, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
State officials have said promotions by Google and Facebook referring people to the site led to unprecedented traffic.
Almost 28,000 people submitted applications online during the extended time period, according to a department Facebook post. The total number will be higher when in-person and mailed applications are counted, officials said in the post.
"As the last 36 hours shows, we have had an overwhelming demand from voters this year to register to vote or to update their registration status, and we are dedicated to ensuring that every eligible Virginian has the opportunity to participate in the November election," Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortés said in the post.
Officials said they made "important functionality improvements" to the statewide registration system so it can accommodate heavy demand, including adding memory capacity to the main server and creating a "custom error page" that provides voters information on other ways to register.
Virginians can check their voter registration status, find their polling location, look at a sample ballot and apply for an absentee ballot on vote.virginia.gov.
(c)2016 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)