There are things you can’t trust in politics, such as political consultants. (Ahem.) Also, polls. But since everyone knows to take those entities with a grain of salt, trust really isn’t the issue with consultants or polls. People expect them to deliver “counterfactual” information. People do not expect the Secretary of State’s website to be “counterfactual” -lots of people depend on the SOS website working well and delivering accurate information 24/7.
The website for Georgia’s Secretary of State, though, can’t currently be trusted. Recently “revamped,” the site now brings us information like this:
That’s a screen cap showing that Paul Broun, John Barrow, Martha Zoller, and Al Sanders are running for the US Senate being vacated by Senator Saxby Chambliss -and that they’ll be on the November 2012 ballot. Sonuva glitch!
As website rollouts go, this has been the second-worst one in recent memory -and you know what the worst one was.
Others have noticed various problems with the site as well. There have been issues with browser incompatibility. There appears to be an ongoing problem with searching for corporations. Can you find a copy of the Georgia Constitution? Nope. How about a nice vanity splash page of the Secretary himself instead? And while it appears that the results of recent elections are now available, (finally) you may want to check your “MyVoter” page to see if you’re actually registered, as some people have reported that they can find no record of themselves on the new website.
To his credit, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has acknowledged the “unusually long processing time for new filings… repeated requests for changes from the Corporations Division… [and] inconsistent data from the former system to the new system” (pdf). He’s promised to put more resources and staff training on the various issues, but also blames funding, and “heavy call volume due to …professional licensing deadlines and voter registration.” Fine, but aren’t those things the mission of the Secretary of State?
Secretary Kemp also asks “…that you continue to provide… feedback regarding the new system.” Which is why we have a comments section.