This is a wild ride of a story. Last week I wrote about the online electronic voting system in NSW being made available for the then upcoming council elections being held in a large number of LGAs across NSW on Saturday. The response was overwhelming.
And it shows in the numbers. During the last State Election, 234,401 people used iVote to cast their ballot.
On the weekend, when registrations closed, a staggering 652,983 had registered.
A sign of our willingness to embrace the electronic system, and perhaps also a desire to keep our distance from people as COVID lingers, but it’s a big jump.
Of the roughly 4.7 million voters on the weekend, that’s 13.77 per cent of people choosing the at home or on the go voting system.
Which must make the “count” faster yeah?
Think back to recent elections, voting went on for days, and we certainly struggled for clarity of outcomes on election night. So, on Saturday Night – were the iVote ballots “dumped” into the Virtual Tally Room to be part of the result. No.
Oh, Monday, they checked the data, and included it then. No.
Tuesday – It’s Tuesday today, makes sense they’ve finished most of the paper vote counting, get some eyes on the data? No.
The NSW Electoral Commission tells EFTM the iVote lodged ballots will be included in the count “some time Wednesday”.
Yep, four days after the polls closed.
We’ve got a long, long way to go before elections are high tech here don’t we?
The NSW Electoral Commission iVote system crashed on Saturday, with an apology forthcoming “The NSW Electoral Commission is aware that some iVote users were unable to gain access to the system to vote today. This was due to the increased volume of people using the iVote system.”
They had no idea it was going to be this popular. Perhaps they didn’t allow for enough time to count or Audit the electronic votes?