A man sent thousands of Voice votes by mistake

A simple mistake was that an Australian was bombarded with thousands of text messages and voicemails from people voting in The Voice final.

A simple mistake made by thousands of Australians when voting for The Voice final resulted in a number of votes not being counted.

The controversy erupted on social networks on Sunday eveningwhen the winner of the singing competition was announced as 24-year-old Lachie Gill from Rita Ora’s team.

Channel 7 fans The voice expressed disappointment at the outcome which saw “three people of colour” lose the $100,000 prize and a recording contract with Universal Music Australia.

Now it can be revealed that thousands of votes went uncounted after fans entered the wrong phone number when voting via text.

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Viewers were invited to vote by texting the name of their favorite artist to 0417 779 667, with a maximum of three votes per person.

However, a Brisbane man, Antoni, whose home phone number is at a number on the correct text line, told news.com.au that many people had mistakenly sent their votes to him instead.

The 50-year-old said he had received thousands of text messages and hundreds of calls since final voting began on May 22, with things escalating significantly on Sunday evening.

“I deleted the first hundred (posts) because I thought I was being spammed, not realizing people were voting. I didn’t watch the show and didn’t know why people were sending the names of the candidates,” he said.

“It wasn’t until I saw an ad with the cell phone number displayed that I realized how close it was to my number…and the penny dropped.

“I probably have a couple thousand texts that could be added up, and a couple hundred voicemails where people verbally voted.”

At no time did Channel 7 display the wrong number on its social media, website or on air throughout the voting period.

Antoni said the situation got even more out of control on Sunday night in the final.

The images provided by Antoni show hundreds of messages and dozens of calls accumulated in a few minutes.

Screenshots of a small portion of the texts Antoni received show that the majority were in favor of Lachie.

About half of just under 50 posts included in the screenshots showed votes for Lachie, with the second highest number of votes for Jordan, followed by Faith and then Thando.

However, with thousands of uncounted votes and hundreds of deleted posts, it’s unclear how many additional votes in total were for each candidate.

As an IT consultant with a busy schedule, Antoni said the whole situation was extremely stressful, as receiving hundreds of calls and texts a day meant it was almost impossible to use his phone normally.

“As you can imagine, my mobile is a key part of my job, so having it ringing at all times of the day and night, it got to a point where I had to put it in ‘don’t bother’, which meant I missed a lot of calls and texts as I had to try to decipher between the real messages from colleagues and all the voting messages from random people,” he said.

Antoni told news.com.au that his wife tried to raise the issue with The Voice and Channel 7 through several channels including email, Facebook and Instagram.

In a response his wife received via Instagram, the program reportedly said the voting was handled by a contractor and had “nothing to do with them”, the Brisbane man said.

“(To) my email complaint, I got a response on Thursday, I think, saying my complaint was being forwarded to the appropriate department to deal with it,” he said.

“I haven’t heard anything since.”

Channel 7 responded to a message from Antonio’s wife apologizing for any inconvenience caused by people texting or calling their number incorrectly.

News.com.au understands that public voting is handled by an external company and that compliance protocols mean they cannot accept any votes cast via an incorrect phone number.

This followed online controversy after Lachie defeated a diverse trio including Team Keith Urban’s Thando Sikwila, Team Guy Sebastian’s Jordan Tavita and Team Jess Mauboy’s Faith Sosene.

The voice finalists also reacted to the show’s finale.

Faith, 25, took to Instagram to say she was “so proud” of Lachie, before apparently suggesting there was a larger issue at play.

“We already knew that Australia was going to love you and choose you! You are just perfect for them.

Faith has since edited the caption, deleting “for them” and replacing it with “You’re just perfect.”

She added: “[Thando and Jordan] We must work harder for our future generations to win. At work, we leave.

Elsewhere, Thando, 29, said Lachie was a “legend” and “absolutely deserved it”.

“Can’t wait to see where this win takes you,” she wrote, alongside a photo of the couple.

Jordan, 23, echoed Thando’s sentiment as he also lent his support to his fellow finalists.

“My sisters WOW! We have a great future ahead of us,” he wrote. “One door is closing and 1000 will open for us!!!”

Lachie also posted a lengthy statement on his Instagram page congratulating the three finalists.

“Jordan Faith & Thando. What can I say other than thank you,” he began.

“Thank you for sharing your gifts with me and Australia. You will continue to inspire me every day in the future and I KNOW and FEEL IT! That you will have amazing careers in this industry and have so much to offer (sic) to Australia and beyond.

Channel 7 has been contacted for comment.

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