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NSW voting site crashes on election day

The online voting system used to allow NSW residents to cast a vote in local council elections has crashed at the worst time possible.

Local Government elections are under way across the state as more than five million people carry out the democratic process of electing their local council representatives.

But the elections, which were postponed twice due to Covid-19 restrictions, have hit a snag.

The iVote tool, rolled out to assist voters who cannot make it to polling booths to cast a ballot in person, crashed this afternoon under unprecedented demand by voters.

The NSW Electoral Commission issued a brief statement on social media on Saturday morning.

“Voting via iVote is currently unavailable,” the statement reads.

“We’re investigating the issue and will resolve it as soon as possible. We regret any inconvenience caused.”

The Electoral Commission told voters that online voting would not be extended past the 6pm deadline as a result of the crash, meaning some could face fines for not voting.

“It’s impossible to (extend the vote) as the 6pm deadline for voting is legislated,” the Commission told people on social media.

“If you’ve not voted before then, you’ll be issued with a ‘Failure to vote’ penalty, for which you can provide ‘sufficient reason’, assessed on a case-by-case basis.”

Voters expressed frustration at the situation on Saturday afternoon.

“Really disappointing- many people with disabilities and silent voters, as well as those who live a long way from a polling booth are relying on this to vote,” one woman wrote on Twitter.

— More to come.

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