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Computer system used to register Florida voters experiences issues leading up to deadline

Posted at 7:51 PM, Oct 09, 2018

Potential voters are complaining the online registration system is having problems with a 11:59 p.m. deadline looming Tuesday. 

It’s after normal closing time but Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher kept her doors open until 7 p.m., to let voters like Kelly Carlyon make sure they’re registered in time. 

“I’m relieved that I’m here but I wish online would have worked. It would have made it so much easier,” Carlyon said. 

She is one of the hundreds in Palm Beach County who couldn’t register online. 

“I have five pages of emails with complaints and we had a line out the door as soon as we opened,” Bucher said. 

The Department of State called its online registration immensely successful since it launched last year. Tuesday alone, they said, it took care of more than 21,000 voters registration. Any problems were intermittent and taken care of, they said. 

“Absolutely not. It does not work. You can’t get through. It’s very frustrating,” Carlyon said, reacting to the state’s claim of a working system. 

Bucher believes problems started over the weekend. 

“On Saturday we received one(online registration). That is wholly an impossibility. And is I think it’s a disservice to our voters but more so, I think it’s robbing them of their democracy,” Bucher said. 

The state extended registration for counties impacted by Hurricane Michael but have not extended elsewhere. Bucher hopes they reconsider. 

“It’s been a frustrating day with no cooperation from the state, unfortunately,” Bucher said. “I know they can do better and the voters in the state deserve better and I hope they work on it so this will never happen again.”

The state says it will continue to monitor the site, but there are no plans to extend registration beyond 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.