The Register to vote website hosted by Gov.UK crashed last night under the strain of half a million Britons scrambling to ensure they can vote in the EU referendum on 23 June.
The Gov.UK Twitter account was deluged with angry people wanting to know why the site was not working. Data showed that the surge occurred in the run up to the midnight deadline.
The team acknowledged the problem last night, imploring people to keep trying to get through even though the site was offline.
We're aware of the technical issue on https://t.co/tHARhjsXcV. We're working to resolve it. This is due to unprecedented demand. Update soon— GOV UK (@GOVUK) June 7, 2016
Please keep trying to register to vote at https://t.co/tHARhjsXcV. Some people are getting through, sorry if you have experienced issues.— GOV UK (@GOVUK) June 7, 2016
Some put the blame on people leaving their registration until the last minute, but others pointed out that the deadline is good until the moment it expires, so they were entitled to register at that time.
So Gov.UK crashed, meaning people couldn't register. People snark they should have signed up earlier. They had a right to until midnight.— Craig Grannell (@CraigGrannell) June 8, 2016
Others have called for the government to extend the deadline so that those who were unable to register do not miss out.
Michael Allen, a vice president at website monitoring firm Dynatrace, said that the situation was unfortunate and should serve as a warning that organisations must expect huge surges in demand at any moment.
“Wherever the finger of blame ends up this time, it’s important that anyone trying to compete or engage in today’s digital economy takes note of the very important lesson that’s been drawn to our attention once again," he said.
"It’s vital that organisations can provide a seamless user experience for those trying to use their website. If that website is likely to experience peaks in demand, at times when it’s critical for your audience to have access, you need to be confident that it can handle the extra traffic."
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