The secretary of state's office has gotten its cash back from the web vendor hosting the crash-plagued statewide election results site on Tuesday.
The vendor, Rackspace Hosting, issued a mea culpa on Wednesday.
"Officials in the California Secretary of State's office called Rackspace well before the election and asked what measures would be needed to handle the spike in website traffic that they expected on Election Day. We have the equipment and experience to handle such traffic spikes, and told them so. But we did not comprehend the extremely high volume of traffic that was expected, and we failed to deploy the appropriate resources," the company said in a statement, posted here.
Rackspace also offered to refund the secretary of state for its services, a bill that amounted to $1,000.
Much to the dismay of campaigns, journalists and voters across the state, the official statewide election results site was down for much of election night. The results site crashed shortly before 8 p.m -- before polls even closed -- and was soon replaced with a less flashy back-up page with a pdf of the results. Even that fail safe site failed to withstand the high traffic at points in the night.
"The international popularity of the secretary of state site, combined with a national phenomenon of higher than ever before traffic, restricted access to other election sites across the country. It overwhelmed the unlimited capacity that our office was promised," said Shannan Velayas, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
This wasn't the first time high traffic has torpedoed the results page on election night. Bowen decided to shift the results page to off-site "cloud hosting" servers after issues during the 2008 general election. She has since praised the move for saving costs and increasing traffic capacity. Velayas said Rackspace has hosted the results site for two previous statewide elections -- the June 2008 primary and the May 2009 special election -- without problems.
This post was updated with additional information at 4:13 p.m..