Friday, 7 May 2010

Refused a Vote

Hundreds of people who queued outside polling stations lost their right to vote when they weren't issued with ballot papers before the 10pm deadline, laid down by law. Understandably, many were angry.

While some would suggest that voters should have reached the polling stations earlier, others blame the resources available to support a good voter turn out and commentators on the BBC suggested that those in the queue at 10pm should have been let in.

My question here is Could a web based system suffer the same problems of overload if millions of voters were to make a last minute decision?

Clearly this is partly a matter of resource (servers, broadband and terminals) but also a matter of timing. Allowing a later deadline, perhaps midnight, would encourage people to access the system earlier, before they go to bed, and not wait until the middle of the night. The downside being, what could be an instant result may come too late to feature in the next morning's newspapers.

Whatever the details, a web vote could be easier, quicker, more efficient and more democratic than today's tainted Victorian system.

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