Voters were left frustrated last night after the government’s voter registration website crashed just two hours before the EU referendum deadline.
Reports say that more than 50,000 people attempted to access the website just after 10pm, possibly contributing to the error message having to be displayed.
Panicked users had until midnight to register for the vote and there are fears many may have missed out as a result of the crash.
It was suspected it would not be legally possible to extend the deadline because timings are strictly controlled by electoral law.
At midnight, the Electoral Commission tweeted: “The deadline to #RegisterToVote in the #EURef has now passed. If you did not register, you cannot vote in the EU Referendum.”
— Electoral Commission (@ElectoralCommUK) June 7, 2016
Reports say the tweet may have been scheduled and set up before the website issues.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson later said: “We became aware of technical issues ongov.uk/register-to-vote late on Tuesday night due to unprecendented demand.
“Some people did manage to get through and their applications were processed. We tried to resolve the situation as quickly as was possible and to resolve cases where people tried to register but were not able to.”
The government has faced calls from Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and Labour MP Gloria De Piero to extend the registration deadline.