Judge orders voter registration extended due to hurricane
A federal judge on Friday ordered Georgia officials to extend the voter registration deadline for one coastal county hit hard by Hurricane Matthew, which forced thousands to evacuate and closed local Board of Elections offices for days.
The judge’s ruling came after Gov. Nathan Deal declined to give residents of coastal Georgia more time to register for the Nov. 8 election, despite the storm’s disruption of the final days for new voters to join the rolls. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed suit, arguing the refusal infringed on the voting rights of Savannah-area residents.
U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. ruled residents of Chatham County, which includes Savannah, must be allowed to register through next Tuesday, Oct. 18 — a week after the original deadline passed. The governor ordered Georgia’s six coastal counties to evacuate for the hurricane on Oct. 6.