- Bob Shallit: Some Dottie voters decide more is better
(Published Oct. 13, 2001)
Florida's got nothing on us when it comes to voting irregularities. At this year's Dottie Awards for best local Web sites, a few overzealous folks were caught trying to stuff the online ballot boxes.
Here's what happened:
Show organizers this year allowed people to vote online to determine the People's Choice winner for best overall Web site. But they were only supposed to vote once.
Turns out a few people created numerous e-mail names for themselves -- on Hotmail or Yahoo, for example -- and voted repeatedly. As a result, ballots came pouring in from people under account names that shared a similar theme -- bigrear@hotmail being among the least racy.
"They were making up e-mail addresses and going into chat rooms telling others how to do it," reports a bemused Nancy Mallory, the event coordinator. A warning went out to cool the ballot stuffing -- and it stopped.
Mallory won't say which sites got the "extra" help, but she figures the stuffing reflects the increased cachet attached to a Dottie win among local Web site designers.
By the way, the People's Choice winner was Juliecam.net, one of those sites that invites you to observe, via Web cams, the daily goings on at the host's home.