The Virginia Information Technologies Agency reported a cut fiber wire at the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center in Chester, Virginia. It said the action is “impacting virtual private network connectivity for multiple Commonwealth agencies.”
One of the affected agencies is the Virginia Department of Elections, whose voter registration portal was blocking visitors from checking their registration status, requesting absentee ballots and registering to vote electronically.
Virginia is among New Jersey, Maryland and Washington, D.C. that had voter registration deadlines Oct. 13. Worrisome Twitter users shared their concerns; “This is incredibly suspicious, especially on the last day of registration,” one Twitter user said. “I’m calling on Virginia representatives to choose the only ethical option and grant extensions. This is astounding and unacceptable.”
According to the tweet’s thread, crews worked to repair the damages. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam confirmed in a press conference Tuesday that the wire was cut inadvertently during a roadside utilities project.
In the same press conference Tuesday, Northam said he and his cabinet were “exploring all options” to extend the voter registration deadline, and he supported a court-ordered extension.
The deadline for registering for the Nov. 3 elections was extended until Thursday, Oct. 15, at 11:59 p.m.