Residents of Florida were given six extra days to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election by a U.S. judge on Wednesday after the disruption caused by powerful Hurricane Matthew in the state last week.
U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee extended the registration deadline to Oct. 18, after the Florida Democratic Party filed a lawsuit seeking more time, court records showed. The original deadline to register had been Tuesday.
Florida Democrats had argued that voters were forced to decide between their safety and their right to vote when Republican Governor Rick Scott ordered mandatory evacuations along a stretch of the state’s Atlantic coast as Matthew approached.
“No right is more precious than having a voice in our elections,” Walker said during a hearing on Wednesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The governor’s office did not immediately comment on the judge’s order.