UBE faces voting system problems

Student.virginia.edu servers overload, UBE offers alternative voting link


As University students attempted to cast their ballots for candidates (see posters above) Monday morning, ITS servers experienced “unplanned downtime” that temporarily prevented some from voting.

At approximately 10:50 a.m. Monday, the University Board of Elections voting website, www.uvavote.com, experienced “unplanned downtime” that was likely a crash due to heavy traffic. According to the Board, the occurrence prevented some students from voting during a two-hour window Monday morning, but did not alter votes which were already cast.

While the site was down, students were able to vote through a website link to Big Pulse, the outside organization the Board uses to manage the voting system. The link was sent out by email around 1 p.m.

“The uvavote website just has a link to [the other website], so when we sent out the link to people through the email, it directed them to that website,” said Board Chair Krishna Korupolu, a second-year College student. “The only problem was that that link wasn’t public to everyone else, so when uvavote.com went down, we couldn’t get that link to people.”

As of Monday night, voting again became accessible through the site. Korupolu said people had successfully been able to vote throughout the rest of the day with the link sent through the email.

“We’ve been getting good numbers in,” he said.

Student Council President Eric McDaniel, a fourth-year College student, said the crash also affected other student group websites.

“It appears that — potentially due to increased traffic from the student body-wide email encouraging students to vote — the designated student organization server has crashed,” McDaniel said in an email Monday morning. “This outage impacts not only UBE’s ‘UVa Vote’ site, but also the Student Council and University Programs Council pages.”

The problem seemed to have been caused by the ITS servers which host the Board’s website.

“With some certainty, I can say that the problem has little to do with the University Board of Elections or their systems,” McDaniel said. “The problem seems to be with the server that ITS hosts these sites.”

Because of the problems, voting has been extended until 8 p.m. this Thursday. Results will still be announced at 5:30 p.m. on Friday as originally planned.

Published February 24, 2014 in FP test, News

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