Primary Rashomon

While most of the rest of the county focuses on the vote counts tonight, I’m up late with a few fellow crew-​members making sure that the website runs smoothly and doesn’t crash. Looking at the same page but seeing different stories. Really, I’m the least critical night-​owl, I just have to make content updates if requested. The developer and network engineer are the real important ones. The site was really getting pounded at 7:30 when I posted the View Results block on the BOE home page, even on our load-​balanced blades, but one of the engineers turned on the second core on each server and page load-​time decreased by 2000%.

The web group did extensive testing, grabbing only the tables and rows from the database that we needed, optimized the indexing of the data and cached it in such a way that the servers wouldn’t get too steamed. Time Warner finally got around to giving us our fat bandwidth too; without all of that everything probably would have been crushed by about 7:45, since we’re tossing out much more than we used to.

Voting this morning went fine; I’ve voted punch ballots, optical scan, and electronic voting now, and have never had a problem. It did seem that the optical scan procedures were a bit needlessly complicated; weird cardboard sleeves, contradictory tabs and ballot boxes, various checks and double-​checks and “take this little card to that person who will give you another card to take to that person” Brazilesque red-​tape, but I suppose that’s the inevitable bureaucratic response to the kind of craptacular high-​profile election disasterbacles that have been happening around the country for the last decade.

It’ll never happen, but I think federal election days should be national holidays to encourage more folks with 9 – 5s to participate as poll workers. It’d sure take a load off of the ancient among us, even if the only additional people available would be those in banking, government and education.

Awesome, I just got the go-​ahead to catch some shut-​eye. Since I’m at home and connected to work via VPN that’s good news. Now I just have to hope for no 3am phone calls.