Virginia voter registration portal restored after fiber cut caused outage

Today is the final day to register to vote
Updated: Oct. 13, 2020 at 4:14 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Anyone wanting to register to vote online can now do so after the registration portal has been restored following an outage. According to The Virginia Information Technology Agency, a fiber cut caused the voter registration portal to experience an outage. Tuesday is the final day to register to vote.

Multiple elected officials have already called for the registration deadline to be extended, including Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax.

Governor Ralph Northam explained this afternoon that his hands are tied.

“That deadline is set in our code and it does not appear that I have the authority to change it that is up to the courts and I would support a court-ordered extension,” said Governor Northam.

On Oct. 13, the Virginia Information Technology Agency Technicians learned that a Verizon fiber had been inadvertently struck as part of activities related to a Chesterfield County roadside utilities project, located off of Route 10 in Chester.

The fiber was located near the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center (CESC), VITA’s headquarters.

This has affected the Department’s citizen portal along with local registrar’s offices across the Commonwealth.

The Department of Elections Citizen Portal showed the following error:

Voter registration down.
Voter registration down.(Virginia Department of Elections)

Governor Northam’s office said the governor was aware of the outage and is closely monitoring the situation.

When the outage happened, Albemarle County tweeted to residents that any voter planning to vote early in-person while the system is down can not be checked in on the poll books and will only be able to vote using a provisional ballot.

The DMV also said they are unable to provide transactions due to the outage. Appointments had to be rescheduled. DMV’s website is back up and running.

The Virginia Employment Commission’s website was also impacted. The VEC says its website is back up and running and will be working to clear a backlog of unemployment benefits and claims today.

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