Judge reopened voter registration in Virginia until Thursday after an outage on the last day to register

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Justice John Gibney Jr. said the order extends to both online registration and in-person registration.

“You can’t go back in time and save people,” Gibney said. In the absence of his intervention, “Almost an entire day of voter registration will be lost.”

The computer failure was caused by a construction crew hitting a fiber data line while on the job. For much of the day on Tuesday, visitors to the state portal were greeted with this message: “Due to a network outage, the Citizens Portal is temporarily unavailable. ”

The State Election Commission and the Election Department supported a petition filed by the New Virginia Majority Education Fund and other groups to extend the 48-hour deadline.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, said his office had considered options, but was not allowed to unilaterally extend the voting deadline.”This deadline is set in our code and it does not appear that I am authorized to change it,” he said on Tuesday afternoon, adding that he “would support a court-ordered extension of the deadline.”

At the court hearing, lawyers for the state agreed to make the extension public to ensure voters are aware. They also agreed to notify the local electoral registrars who handle registrations in person.

“If we have any issues with the local registrars deciding that this order does not require them to allow additional registration, you have my phone,” Gibney told the parties. “I’ll give them a suggestion. ”

This story has been updated with additional information.

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