Secretary of State Ken Detzner on Tuesday night announced that nearly 37,000 Floridians had become eligible to vote in the extra week for voter registration.
He also said another nearly 27,000 applications were in the verification process, meaning the state could have almost 64,000 new voters on the rolls.
Detzner did not provide a breakdown of new registrations by party.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker of Tallahassee extended the state’s deadline to register by one week, from Oct. 11 to this Tuesday.
He did so because of damage and office closures before and after Hurricane Matthew, which battered the state’s Atlantic coast Oct. 7. Walker found that state law has a “gap” in not specifically allowing more time to register after a natural disaster.
A Department of State news release said that in the extra week “36,823 Florida voter registration applications were verified and are now active in the Florida Voter Registration System database.”
“There are currently 26,773 applications in the verification process (and) the Department will devote more than 65 staff members to assist in this process up until Election Day,” it added. “Of this number, 19 staff members are trained and approved by the state to enter and handle sensitive voter information.”
The state “is committed to ensuring that all Floridians who have registered to vote by the extended voter registration deadline can vote,” said Detzner, the state’s chief election officer. “All Floridians who submitted a complete voter registration application in person by 5 p.m. today, or postmarked by today, will be verified and registered to vote by the start of mandatory statewide early voting, which begins on October 29.
“That means if you registered by today’s deadline, are eligible, and your registration is verified, you will have all available options to exercise your right to vote, which include vote-by-mail, early voting, and voting at the polls on Election Day,” he said.