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Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

A judge on Wednesday granted a request from civil rights groups to extend Virginia's voter registration deadline until Oct. 15 after the state's online system crashed on the final day of the registration period, according to Virginia's attorney general.

Driving the news: A mistakenly severed fiber-optic cable shut down much of Virginia's online portal overnight Monday and into the afternoon on Tuesday, according to a tweet from the state Department of Elections and the lawsuit filed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Advancement Project National Office.

  • Virginia's Department of Elections said later in the afternoon on Tuesday the issue had been resolved.

The registration deadline will be extended until 11:59pm Thursday.

What they're saying: "The commonwealth failed the public and it must grant a significant extension to ensure all Virginians are given an equal opportunity to exercise their fundamental right to vote," said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

  • "Extending the registration deadline is a common-sense step that can be taken to address the potential disenfranchisement of thousands of eligible people across Virginia."

Go deeper

Updated Jan 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden picks Merrick Garland for attorney general

Joe Biden touches Merrick Garland after President Obama nominated him to the Supreme Court in March 2016. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden announced Judge Merrick Garland as his pick for attorney general on Thursday, seeking to place in the nation's top law enforcement job a respected federal appeals judge whose Supreme Court nomination Republicans blocked five years ago.

Why it matters: News of the selection, first reported by Politico, came just hours after the country learned that Democrats would likely win both Senate runoff elections in Georgia and take control of the Senate, making it harder for Republicans to block nominations.

2 hours ago - Health

CDC panel endorses Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12-to 15-year-olds, following the FDA's emergency use authorization.

Why it matters: Approval from the CDC panel was the final step needed before inoculations could be offered at any vaccination site for this age group.

  • Pfizer has said its vaccine is 100% effective at protecting against COVID-19 in a trial of more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 15.

GOP lawmakers downplay Capitol riot at House hearing

Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty Images

Republican members of Congress sought to minimize the Capitol insurrection at a House hearing on Wednesday, with statements calling pro-Trump rioters "patriots" and other lawmakers falsely denying demonstrators were supporters of the former president at all.

Driving the news: The hearing comes shortly after House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from leadership over her criticism of former President Trump's actions leading up to and on Jan. 6.