Union tackling server issues with online voting system due to volume of voters

The union has said they are “working on” alleviating technical problems experienced by students casting online votes

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) is working to smooth difficulties experienced by students casting their ballots online in the first full day of voting for the sabbatical officer elections.

On social media earlier today, the union has said that the system was “having a meltdown due to everyone trying to vote at once” but that they were “working on it”.

The union followed up later this evening to add: We’re still getting reports that people are having difficulty accessing their ballots! The servers will hopefully settle down in the next few hours so that everyone can cast their vote.”

Electoral Commission Chair Yannick Gloster confirmed to Trinity News that “due to a very high level of traffic on the server at 8pm last night and again at 12pm today, the page was taking a long time to load”.

“However, all votes placed are being logged, the page just takes some time to load.”

This year marks the first year when all campaigning and voting for candidates in the election has taken place online due to the ongoing public health crisis. 

After the online voting process was opened last night, some students described experiencing some difficulty or confusion in navigating the new online process.

“It took me over an hour to vote last night,” one student told Trinity News, citing difficulty opening the links on their iPhone and a slow loading time on their laptop. “It’s also super confusing to tell if my votes actually submitted,” the student said.

Another student reported: “When I logged on to vote this morning the links would not work for me. When I clicked them they would not load. The links took me to my browser but the page to vote would not load. When the page eventually loaded it was glitchy and difficult to navigate.” 

Emer Moreau, one of two candidates for the position of University Times Editor, urged students on Twitter earlier today not to panic and instead to “try again later”. 

Moreau said that “we’re hearing reports that the voting links are acting up – this is just because so many people are attempting to vote at the same time!”

Gloster reiterated: “If any students are encountering difficulty we would ask them to please return to the voting page a few minutes later.”

Voting for the SU elections opened last night and is set to conclude tomorrow evening. 6,251 students registered to vote prior to elections in a first for the union, as in previous years in-person voting meant students were not required to register in advance.

Students have the opportunity to vote for six sabbatical officers out of twelve candidates. The President race has been contested by three candidates, while Aoife Cronin is running uncontested for the position of Communications and Marketing Officer. 

For the four remaining races of Welfare and Equality Officer, Education Officer, Ents Officer and University Times Editor, students have the choice between two candidates each or the option to Re-Open Nominations. 

Audrey Brown

Audrey Brown is a Senior Fresher English Studies student, and the Deputy News Editor of Trinity News.