Running for President – unknowingly!

At least six individuals accidentally signed up as candidates for the Icelandic presidential elections.

The consequences of technological errors vary in severity. A few dozen Icelandic people learnt this the hard way when they accidentally signed up as candidates for the Icelandic presidential elections, which will take place on 1st June. 

It all happened when the people in question intended to endorse a presidential candidate on the new online portal. Until now, presidential candidates have had to collect their endorsements on paper. Technological advancements are usually promising, but they can also have complications, as this example demonstrates.

Soon after the mistake was discovered, the website layout was changed so that the button for registering as a presidential candidate is now at the very bottom of the page, beneath the names of the candidates. It is the first time the entire process is being conducted online, leading some people to unintentionally run for President on island.is with the push of a button.

Until 24th March, approximately 80 people had put their names forward, formally entering the presidential race as registered candidates, which is more than double the previous record. That was probably the result of the ease with which people can sign up as presidential candidates or that people continued to make the mistake of registering when trying to show their support for another candidate.

The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RUV, reported that 40 candidates subsequently removed their submissions, with at least six individuals unknowingly entering the 2024 presidential race. The National Election Board has remedied the technical glitch.

As the upcoming presidential elections draw near, more viable candidates enter the race. Potential contenders must collect at least 1,500 signatures before 26th April to be eligible for election.

The number of candidates currently in the process of collecting signatures, with voters choosing the next President of Iceland on 1st June, is 53.

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