'Tech disgrace': NSW voters frustrated as online polling site crashes

A horde of people attempting to cast their ballot in the NSW election are frustrated the online site used for voting crashed as they tried to make their decision early.

The iVote system crashed on Friday, leaving those unable to attend polling booths on Saturday with limited options. Users also experienced issues on election day.

“The iVote site keeps crashing to an error message. This is ridiculous. In NYC. My wife has been trying to vote for an hour,” one voter tweeted. 

Another complained the NSW Electoral Commission was not answering its phone when the voter tried to contact them about the system error.

“Please answer your phones! I was on hold for 90 minutes then cut off! Am on hold again,” she tweeted.

One described iVote as a “tech disgrace”.

Technical issues began on Friday night but continued Saturday morning as thousands flooded iVote to register and cast their ballot.

Frustrated voters then turned to the telephone registration system, which itself was then overloaded, with some told to call back later.

One voter living in the United Kingdom said she registered last week but had to call the NSW Electoral Commission 42 times on Saturday in an effort to get her iVote number.

“It was a very, very painful process,” Vanessa told AAP.

“Once I was logged in, it was a relatively easy way to vote.”

Chrissy Symeonakis said she’d phoned multiple times on Friday night and Saturday morning before finally getting through about 10am.

“I have multiple sclerosis, so getting to a polling booth isn’t easy for me at the moment as I’m currently undergoing new treatments,” she said, adding she registered for iVote in February.

The server problems for the online system appeared to be fixed about 10am.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian concedes the race to victory in the NSW election will be tight as she seeks to become the state’s first-ever popularly-elected female premier.

Voting opened at more than 2200 polling booths across the state at 8am (local time) on Saturday, with more than four million people expected to cast their vote.

More than 1.3 million have already made their decision and voted early, in what is tipped to be one of the closest elections in decades

The NSW Electoral Commission said in a statement iVote was working after intermittent performance issues.

“We apologise for any inconvenience,” a spokesman said.

“Some web browsers, for example, Google Chrome, appear to be working better than others.”

Applications to use iVote closed at 1pm and voting closes at 6pm today.

People cast their votes in Saturday’s election. Source: AAP

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