A federal judge on Wednesday extended the voter registration deadline in Virginia by 48 hours after an accidentally severed cable shut down the state’s online registration system the day before.

The new registration deadline is 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. ordered the extension after the system went down for several hours Tuesday, which had been the last day to register for the Nov. 3 general election, The Associated Press reported.

In his order, Gibney said the shutdown of the system caused “tremendous harm” to those who want to vote, AP reported.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law sought the extension and it had the support of Gov. Ralph Northam and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. The committee said the state should make every effort to tell Virginians of the extension.

Northam said the state had no backup circuit for the severed cable, which Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner said was installed this spring to handle the influx of residents registering online during the coronavirus pandemic, AP reported.

As of Wednesday, Virginia has 161,610 coronavirus cases and 3,381 related deaths, according to state health department statistics.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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