Software Vendor Takes "Full Responsibility" For Election Day Website Crash

How dallascountyvotes.org looked on election day.
How dallascountyvotes.org looked on election day.
Stephen Young

They had one job. Last Tuesday, the one day this year most people will even think to look at the Dallas County elections website, it went down. For seven hours. Any person needing to know her polling place had to seek out other methods. The situation was laughable, but it also couldn't have helped turnout.

See also: Dallas County's Voting Website Is Down

"I've got some real concerns," county commissioner John Wiley Price said at this Tuesday's Commissioner's Court meeting. "This is the second time that the website has gone down."

In March, during the primary, the site also went down. Then, it was a capacity issue. SOE, the company that manages the county election site, failed to appropriately plan for demand, said Derek Williams, the company's vice president of product operations. This time, SOE anticipated server demand, but it's file server went down. If the county gives SOE another chance, he said, the company would create a duplicate site that could be ready in 5-15 minutes given any downtime.

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"Over the last two election periods we've had issues that we regret," said Bill Murphy, an account manager with SOE.

The commissioners seemed unmoved by his and Williams' contrition.

"An apology after two elections [gone bad] in the same year is not enough," County Commissioner Elba Garcia said. "As a dentist, I do not get to do a root canal three times."


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