Did a viral tweet from Ariana Grande crash Florida's voter registration site?

Did a viral tweet from Ariana Grande crash Florida's voter registration site?
Photo courtesy Ariana Grande/Facebook
A viral tweet from pop star Ariana Grande urging Florida residents to register to vote may have contributed to Monday's voter registration website crash.

Grande tweeted the following message at 3:10 p.m. Monday: “fellow Floridians, we need you. today is the last day to register to vote. if you haven’t yet or if you know of a friend or family member that hasn’t, it’s imperative that you make sure they register today because Florida has the potential of swaying the election.”

Also attached to the tweet was a link to Headcount.org, which is an organization dedicated to registering young people and music fans to vote.

A barrage of online traffic Monday evening led to countless Floridians being unable to register to vote, which has left Florida officials searching for answers. In response to the last-minute crash, Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee announced that the deadline would be extended to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

CBS Miami’s Jim Defede proposed the theory that Grande’s tweet was the cause of the problem. Grande, who was born in Boca Raton, Florida, has over 77 million followers on Twitter.

Lee said Tuesday morning that she would work with state and federal law enforcement to figure out the source of the spike and make sure it wasn’t the result of any “malicious activity.”

At the moment, it's unknown how much traffic Grande really sent to Florida's voter registration site. A spokesman for the Florida Department of State could not be reached by Creative Loafing for comment.

This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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