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Idol Expands Voting Window

Fox Tuesday defended the voting system for American Idol but said it hopes to ease congestion on the telephone network by allowing fans to vote in an expanded four-hour window for the finale next week.

Broadcasting & Cable reported Monday that the network is missing tens of millions of votes from fans whose calls get clogged in the phone systems. Fox said the call congestion “appears to be occurring at the local level” and that “the national network has not reached capacity.”

Fans are irate that some of the most talented singers are getting voted off. And because many popular losers are black, some are also charging that the voting is racist. Whatever is happening in the network, Fox said it doesn’t affect how votes received are actually counted.

“The reporting systems used are secure, and there are multiple fail-safes to ensure that the figures reported are accurate.  The system is continually monitored to provide the most secure method of receiving, tallying and reporting the vote,” Fox said in a statement.