The government website where you register to vote crashed last night and was down for several hours. This was due to a surge of people trying to register online for the EU referendum — some 525,000 in total! Thousands of mostly young voters were consequently left unable to register. As usual with young people (trust me, I’m a teacher), despite having had literally months to register, they all decided to wait till the eleventh hour. Too many users online at once equals crashed website. But even though it was all their own fault, this has led to moronic comments like the following.
People cannot be denied the right to vote because computer says no.
How about registering in the past few months, dickheads?
But these young’uns won’t be made to learn from their mistake, however.
To reward these cretins for not being bothered to register in good time, the government have extended the deadline. Not by a few hours that the site was down for, but by forty-eight! It’s not the government’s fault the site crashed! By extending the deadline by two whole days, the government is rewarding irresponsible behaviour, and thereby further enforcing the sense of entitlement of this generation.
Worse luck, though.
The government full well knows that most of these late-comers are young and are therefore statistically more likely to Vote Remain. I wonder: if the demographic who registered late were older, and therefore statistically more likely to Vote Leave, would the government have extended the deadline…? Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I somewhat doubt it. To put it another way: has the government just cunningly rigged another few hundred thousand votes for its own view? I think so. With 7.5 million eligible voters still not registered, this extension may just swing the vote. Of course, as a believer in democracy, I would want everyone to vote; however, democracy also requires the exercise of self-responsibility and being a grown-up. But about that conspiracy theory again: Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, summed it up nicely for me upon the website crashing:
This is a shambles the government has presided over and people must be given an extra day to exercise their democratic right. It is also a major blow to the in campaign and our prospects of staying in Europe.
Evidence shows younger people are overwhelmingly pro-European, and if they are disenfranchised it could cost us our place in Europe. It could also turn them off democracy for life. Voters must be given an extra day while this mess is sorted out urgently.
The Guardian, 7 June 2016
© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry
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