Florida voter registration deadline extended after Hurricane Matthew

A federal judge has issued a one-day extension to Florida’s voter registration deadline and will hear arguments on a longer extension in a Wednesday hearing.

The order from District Judge Mark Walker is at least a partial victory for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The initial registration deadline had been Tuesday. But Florida Democrats asked the court to extend the deadline. They argue that would-be voters deserve more time after Republican Gov. Rick Scott urged 1.5 million Florida residents to evacuate last week as Hurricane Matthew approached the U.S. coastline.

Clinton’s campaign supported the lawsuit.

The judge’s order extends the deadline through 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. He will hear arguments earlier in the day on a longer extension.

The lawsuit points out that Scott urged Floridians to “evacuate, evacuate, evacuate” ahead of Matthew. The storm scraped the state’s eastern coast and is blamed for at least four deaths in Florida. It contends Scott forced voters to choose between their safety and their right to vote.

Scott said he did not extend the deadline because people have had enough time to register.

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