Virginia’s Online Registration System Goes Down, Scrambling In-Person Voting

Voters wait in line to cast their ballot at an early voting location in Fairfax, Virginia on September 18, 2020. - Early in-person voting for the 2020 general election kicked off on September 18, 2020 in Virginia (Ph... Voters wait in line to cast their ballot at an early voting location in Fairfax, Virginia on September 18, 2020. - Early in-person voting for the 2020 general election kicked off on September 18, 2020 in Virginia (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 13, 2020 11:32 a.m.

A cut cable has shut down Virginia’s statewide online voter registration system, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Not only is Tuesday the final day for online registration in the state, early in-person voting is also underway. The system has implications for both: With the registration system, known as VERIS, currently on the fritz, in-person voters will have to cast provisional ballots because poll workers are unable to check them in.

The outage was caused by a cut fiber in Chester, Virginia, according to WUSA9.

In-person and mail-in voter registration are still available Tuesday, but the deadline for submitting in-person registration forms is 5 p.m., while mailed-in registration forms must be postmarked by Tuesday.

Virginia is on pace to break turnout records, with early in-person voting emerging as a widely used option even as absentee voting has also surged in the pandemic.

As of Friday, 887,000 Virginians had voted early in person, a number that amounts to nearly a quarter of all the ballots cast in the state in the 2016 election.

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