Johnson City Press Thursday, October 30, 2014

News Local News Election 2014

AWOL: Washington County election website goes down during early voting as domain lapses

July 22nd, 2014 10:15 am by Gary B. Gray

AWOL: Washington County election website goes down during early voting as domain lapses

People seeking information on the Washington County Election Commission website were not able to access  wcecoffice.com from Friday through Monday morning.

Those logging on to the site for voting information, a sample ballot or any number of online voting needs when trying to access the site found this message instead: “NOTICE: This domain name expired on 7/19/2014 and is pending renewal or deletion.”

Administrator of Elections Maybell Stewart said late Monday morning the site was back up and running and there had been no problems due to the temporary “blackout.”

“Our registration had expired,” Stewart said. “It should be back up now. It expired over the weekend, and I had a dentist appointment this morning. As soon as I got back, I got with our computer guy, and it’s back up now.”

The snafu came one day after early voting began for the Aug. 7 state primary and county general elections. The Johnson City Press noticed the disconnection early Monday when logging on to review candidate information.

Apparently, the election commission had purchased a URL/domain name from the provider, GoDaddy. A trip to godaddy.com reveals offers for 1-year registrations for personal or business domain names for as little as 99 cents a year. The trick is, registrations must be renewed.

The election commission site enables the public to learn which candidates are on the ballot in certain federal, state and local races. It provides documents, including requests for absentee ballots, as well as links to the Tennessee Election Commission site, a person’s registration status and a list of polling places.

Follow Gary B. Gray on Twitter @ggrayjcpress. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/garybgrayjcp.

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