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A Rush of Voters Crashed Elections Canada's Website on Election Day

It's a good thing, I guess?
October 19, 2015, 2:47pm
Image: Flickr/Justin Grimes

It's voting day in Canada, the tense conclusion to the longest federal campaign period since 1872, and arguably the most controversial. So many people are stoked about voting today, in fact, that the Elections Canada website went down this morning due to high levels of traffic.

WOW @ElectionsCan_E website is down.
— eric zaworski (@ericzawo) October 19, 2015

The site, which hosts important information like what kinds of ID to bring to the polls and where polling stations are located, went down almost as soon as polls opened at 9:30 AM EST, judging by the timing of the tweets that started rolling in just minutes after. The reason, according to the official Elections Canada Twitter account, was that the site was experiencing too much traffic and couldn't handle the load. Less than an hour later, the site was up again and working normally.

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We're experiencing high volumes of traffic on our website. We appreciate your patience.
— Elections Canada (@ElectionsCan_E) October 19, 2015

Elections Canada didn't immediately return a request for comment.

The outage is no doubt frustrating to many voters, but, in a twisted sort of way, it's also heartening. Over Thanksgiving weekend, 3.6 million people voted at advance polls, a 71 percent increase in turnout from the 2011 election—and so many people are looking to vote today that Canada basically just DDoS'd its own elections site. According to reports, Elections Canada has been beefing up staff at polling stations in preparation for a huge turnout.

Elections Canada website down due to traffic overload. Great that there's more interest than expected -- but come on, it's #elxn42 day!
— Julian Uzielli (@JulianUzielli) October 19, 2015

Here's to the most fucked up federal election in recent memory—with politicians caught pissing in people's mugs and national debates about religious headwear—which just couldn't go out without one final bit of drama.