Friday, March 15, 2019

Why I'm against lowering the voting age to less than 18

It is quite rare for me to be against any kind of voting reform. After all, I started OpaVote for the primary purpose of promoting ranked-choice voting. But when it comes to the supposed reform of lowering the voting age from the current standard of age 18 to something lower, I am dead set against it.

Here is my reasoning in a nutshell: I don't see lowering the voting age as having any significant impact in improving voter turnout. To the extent that people or organizations advocate for lowering the voting age, they are distracting us from real reforms that could make a difference.

Voting Reforms that Could Make a Difference

I'll limit myself to voting reforms that are focused on improving voter turnout since that seems to be the objective of advocates of lowering the voting age.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Largest Election Ever with 57,000 Voters

Our largest election ever was completed yesterday with a total of 57,000 voters. Although we've carefully designed our online voting platform to scale to handle elections of any size, we must admit that we do get a little nervous when a customer has an election that goes where no election has gone before!

One amazing aspect of modern cloud computing is the ability to quickly scale the number of servers running your website behind the scenes. For typical daily usage of OpaVote, we have a relatively small number of servers, but when a large election starts, the number of servers will increase quickly to handle the sudden increase in traffic. When the traffic slows down, the number of servers will decrease so that we are not paying for computing power that we don't need.

The graph here shows the change in the number of servers when the election with 57,000 voters started. We are happy to report that the election with 57,000 voters went off flawlessly.