Technical hiccups hit ACT election counting

It is ironic that counting in Australia's first election offering electronic voting stalled because of technical hiccups following the ACT poll on Saturday.

Electronic voting is supposed to speed up the polling process and was used on Saturday during the ACT election offering voters a choice between traditional paper ballots and the Internet.

By the time voting closed, the ACT Electoral Commissioner Phil Green was claiming Internet users significantly slowed down the collating of electronic votes.

More than 11,000 pre-poll electronic votes were supposed to have been counted just after the polls closed at 6pm but there were periods when counting was at a virtual standstill.

According to Green, disks were slower to load than expected and processing the disks for eight polling stations equipped for computer voting was drawn out because of competition from the Internet.

"We're getting lots of hits on our Internet site and that's actually slowing down our server because it's all being run off the one database," Green said during counting.

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