Website crash puts EC in a spot of bother

Website crash puts EC in a spot of bother

Website crash puts EC in a spot of bother

In a problem that has persisted over two days, affidavits filed by candidates of at least seven Assembly constituencies in Bangalore were not uploaded on the Election Commission’s (EC) website till late Monday night.

This apart, the Chief Election Officer’s (CEO) website also crashed on Tuesday, giving an impression that the EC’s online portal was ill-equipped to handle the heavy load of work.
With close to 50 candidates contesting elections from these seven constituencies, the lapse prevented citizens and reporters from scrutinising the affidavits of election aspirants, including heavyweights such as Shobha Karandlaje, Suresh Kumar, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Uday Garudachar and Zameer Ahmed Khan.

According to the returning officers of some of the constituencies in question, a delay occurred because of the time-consuming process of transporting affidavits to the BBMP head office, where they are first compiled and then uploaded on the Commission’s website. The constituencies from where none of the affidavits was uploaded include Rajajinagar, Gandhinagar, Chickpet, Chamarajpet, Shivajinagar and Shanthinagar.

When asked about the problems, the Assistant District Election Officer (ADEO) said that despite the delays involved, it was the responsibility of the returning officer to upload them on the website in time. “We had 24 hours to get them online,” he said.

In reality, however, the website crash extended the delay to nearly 36 hours. Worse, problems persisted in some on the uploaded documents. In the case of JD(S) candidate Akanda Srinivas Murthy from Pulakeshinagar, the Commission had uploaded only the last page of his affidavit.

In another blunder, the Election Commission appears to have not recognised Shikaripura in Shimoga as a constituency on its website. Till late Monday night, Shikaripura and its high-profile candidate B S Yeddyurappa (who filed his nominations on Monday), were not available for public scrutiny.

Website overload

When asked about the technical glitches with the Commission’s website (http://www. ceokarnataka.kar.nic.in), Ramesh K N Special Officer (Technical) at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, on Tuesday claimed that the website went offline because it was subjected to increased workload. “At any given point during the day, there are a lakh application files, including voter enrolment and candidate nominations from different parts of the State, being uploaded on the website,” he said. “This has resulted in glitches leading to crashing of the site. But we cannot stop the uploading process as tabulation needs to take place. However, the website returns to normal by the evening of every day.” With regard to the BBMP central zone where the server was being overloaded with inputs and data, Ramesh said some returning officers had made arrangements to upload the affidavits of all constituencies in the jurisdiction at a single point nearby. “They think that such arrangements are for their convenience, when in reality it actually places more load on a single server,” he said.

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