New York, N.Y. — A programming glitch kept hundreds of people from voting as the world’s first international cyberelections got under way.
Election.com, the company conducting the vote, said the glitch was fixed by Monday morning, though some users reported other problems later. Voting began Sunday and continues through Oct. 10.
More than 75,000 users are registered to vote for five directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a group whose decisions ultimately affect usage and growth of the Internet.
For example, rules governing new domain name suffixes to relieve the crowded dot-com field could make some sites easier to find.
Voting is conducted by continent and is open to users 16 and over with valid e-mail and postal addresses. The 19 board members include appointees chosen in 1998 when the U.S. government began giving ICANN control over addressing and other technical issues.
Election.com conducted the presidential primary for Arizona Democrats in March, the nation’s first binding online election for public office. Critics of online voting question the Internet’s security, privacy and reliability from hacking attacks.
For Ron Bennett, a Web site designer in Reading, Pa., Monday’s glitch underscores problems with online elections. “It makes you question … how reliable it is,” he said.
For the ICANN election, Election.com computers verified passwords for Bennett and other users, but returned error messages when they tried to submit votes. “I think they got my vote, but I’m not really sure,” Bennett said.
Election.com said that despite the problems, more than 4,000 users have successfully cast votes by Monday afternoon.
Jessica Westbrook, a retired financial consultant in Houston, found irony in her inability to vote.
“They are supposedly the technical representatives to run the Internet,” Westbrook said. “If you can’t run one site or hire someone to run the site to make sure every button works, I have to question their technical experience.”