House Limits Incoming Constituent Email after Financial Bailout Vote

The peasants are revolting! The latest evidence comes in a quick email from Convio, one of the online advocacy providers:

Please be advised that the House of Representatives is currently imposing limits on inbound communications from constituents because volumes are so high that Congressional websites and web forms are becoming non-responsive. A limit on the number of emails that can be sent via the “Write Your Rep” web form system (the software that a majority of Representatives use to power their web forms) is being imposed during peak email traffic hours.

Clients may want to adapt their campaign timing or switch contact methods (to phone) to avoid delivery disruptions due to these limits. The throttling is dynamic, so unfortunately there is no simple guidance we can offer that will ensure delivery. The throttling is likely to remain in place until the end of the current legislative session.

More here from The Hill, which reports that the change was announced to members via a “Dear Colleague” letter today [Update: Wired has a screenshot, and c.f. tPrez]. Welcome to an engaged (and enraged) citizenry! Question: how long before the switchboard melts from all the calls?

Update: The House isn’t the only one having trouble today; Dem fundraising site ActBlue also seems to have gone down, at least according to several Twitterers, though it was working when I checked. Somewhere, a techie has been sweating blood… Update 2: they were down from 2:35 to 5:10 this afternoon (ouch), and apparently the end-of-quarter fundraising rush was just a bit overwhelming.


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Colin Delany
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