NSW iVote registration goes down on election eve

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NSW iVote registration goes down on election eve

Call volumes then overwhelm telephone service.

The NSW Electoral Commission is urging online voters to “try again later” after the iVote registration system went down on Friday afternoon.

Voters are able to cast votes for the NSW election using iVote, which is available online or by telephone.

However, both services struggled Friday afternoon and into the evening, with the iVote registration page returning a 502 bad gateway error or 503 service unavailable error.

The problems sent would-be online voters to the phone service instead, which was also quickly overwhelmed.

The commission confirmed in a statement that the registration system was experiencing problems, though NSW Electoral Commissioner John Schmidt said actual votes cast using iVote were not impacted.

“To date, 227,521 people have registered for iVote and 187,559 votes have been cast,” he said.

“The problem relating to online registrations has resulted in increased call volumes to our call centre.

“Our call centre is still processing registrations, however some people have been reaching a pre-recorded message asking them to call back later. This is due to the high volume of calls.

“We are currently working to resolve the iVote registration problem and apologise for the inconvenience.”

Schmidt said that the commission had taken “more than 34,000 calls today” and would continue to accept calls until 11pm tonight, before reopening again at 8am tomorrow.

Online, the commission advised hopeful iVote users to simply “try again later” as the service was “performing slowly for some users”.

Hopeful iVote users flooded social media forums throughout Friday complaining of timeouts and general inaccessibility of the iVote service.

The NSW state election is on Saturday March 23.

iVote also suffered issues in the lead-up to the election after it was confirmed that the service contained a critical cryptographic defect that could potentially be exploited to manipulate votes.

The commission said the issue would be patched before the election and that the system would be safe to use.

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