‘Bring your own pen’: Virus panic crashes election website
THOUSANDS of people trying to sign up for postal voting for the upcoming council elections have crashed the Electoral Commission of Queensland's website.
People trying to access the page that allows for online registration ahead of the 7pm cut-off have been met with an error page today, although the page was back up this afternoon.
An ECQ spokesman urged people to continue trying as the website tried to cope with the extraordinary demand.
But Queensland's Electoral Commissioner, Pat Vidgen, said tonight's deadline could not be extended due to legislative stipulations.
He said more than 96,000 postal vote applications had been made over the weekend.
And those that had to vote in person are being encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil to guard against germs.
"The ECQ will be implementing a range of new measures for people attending early voting centres and polling booths to vote in-person," Mr Vidgen said.
"This includes sourcing additional supplies of hand sanitiser for use by voters at polling booths."
Mr Vidgen said the local government elections and Currumbin and Bundamba by-election were proceeding as normal, in accordance with advice that only non-essential mass gatherings should be cancelled.
"Elections facilitate an essential service by providing for democratic representation for Queenslanders," Mr Vidgen said.
"However, we recognise that this is an extraordinary situation and are adapting our service model accordingly
"I ask for the understanding and co-operation of all voters to make sure that the elections are conducted smoothly and with minimal impact on voters and election staff.
"This is a unique and evolving situation and we will update voters if circumstances change.
"I encourage people to check the ECQ website for up-to-date information about how to cast their vote".