Two weeks after the 2012 election, Secretary of State Matt Schultz still can’t say what went wrong in his office on election night, other than to say he hopes an internal audit will conclude “soon”.
“We couldn’t get the internal server to connect with the cloud, ” Schultz said. The term “cloud” can mean different things to different people. But WHO-HD’s Director of Internet Operations Stuart Rauh said it usually refers to an external server that can store data.
On election night, Rauh watched the secretary of state’s website crash from right before 9pm until about 10:30. He figures those were the peak times when people logged on to see the results, since the polls closed at 9pm. Rauh suspects the sheer volume of people trying to connect to the site at the same time caused a system overload and crashed the site. Rauh said, “On a night like election night, you’re going to have a lot of people looking for that information. And if they all come at once, your server gets overloaded.”
Schultz realized people want answers about what happened and he knows he can’t give them. In the meantime, he said his office is working on a backup plan. “We’re trying to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future and set alternative sites. So that if that were to happen again, we could transfer all the users to another website.