WASHINGTON (WVEC) -- A federal lawsuit has been filed to force Virginia to extend its voter registration window.
The move comes after the state's online system crashed on Monday -- the last day to register, which prevented people from registering.
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued a letter urging state officials to extend the voter registration deadline.
"All eligible citizens deserve a fair opportunity to register to vote,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the organization. “Aspiring voters across the state of Virginia were denied the right to vote because Virginia’s Online Voter Registration system crashed at a very critical moment. The impact of the state’s error was exacerbated by the fact that it happened on a day in which we historically have seen registration rates peak. Eligible voters should not be penalized for the state’s failure."
The organization filed the lawsuit on behalf of the New Virginia Majority Education Fund, Virginia Civic Engagement Table, and Michael and Kathy Kern, against the Virginia Department of Elections. It demands the registration be extended at least 72 hours.
A 'Stafford County' registrar estimates the crash prevented tens-of-thousands of Virginians from signing up to vote.
"Everybody knows that the right to vote is one of the most fundamental constitutional rights that we have as Americans. And what we're seeing is the disenfranchisement of those people who may want to vote, but are unable to do so," said Kevin Duffan, 13NewsNow legal analyst with Shapiro, Appleton & Duffan, PC.