It’s 6:30 am and I’ve woken to the news that the EU Vote Registration website has crashed because of the sheer volume of people trying to register to vote and there are calls for the deadline to be extended.
This raises the question of planning (on both sides). On the one hand the website developers should recognise that demand will spike before a deadline; on the other hand non-registrants have known for months that they need to register to vote.
And as a democracy, do we yield to the pressure of demand whenever a significant proportion of the population say “it’s not my fault” or do we say “tough; you knew the rules and you missed the deadline”
At the time of writing, no decision has been made regarding an extension. But I suspect that an extension will be granted, not because the government will feel bad about creating a sub-standard website but because the majority of those who crashed the site were the under-35s.
In others words, those with a propensity to vote REMAIN may be offered an opportunity to try again.
What should be a discussion around the ethics and principles of meeting a deadline will distorted by an underlying desire to generate more votes for the Remain camp.
What will be missed is the basic need for society to allow eligible non-registrants the opportunity to register. And so I suspect that the deadline will be extended… but for the wrong reason.