[E-voting] E-voting machines to be used in UK

Dr J Pelan J.Pelan at gatsby.ucl.ac.uk
Wed Oct 25 13:54:25 IST 2006


On Wed, 25 Oct 2006, Timothy Murphy wrote:

> In what way is postal voting "disastrous" in the UK? Exaggeration, in my 
> view, is counter-productive.

I am entitled to my opinion but if you've been following the UK news you 
cannot but help notice the number of reported irregularities, 
investigations and court cases. It is so bad that the Council of Europe 
have been called in to investigate and could prosecute the UK government 
for human rights violations. They might also insist upon official monitors 
to keep an eye on the UK's voting procedures. Hardly a model of success.

> To my mind, one of the most cogent arguments in the UK was the study by 
> the Electoral Reform Society which showed that electronic voting did not 
> increase voting numbers, and in fact had a small negative influence.

The ERS report was in regard to turnout and I don't see its relevance in 
this context of security and probity. It is also not entirely meaningful, 
suffering as it does from novelty and other effects which only a long-term 
study over a number of successive local and national elections could 
exclude. In my opinion, turnout rests on political engagement, not voting 
technology.

--
John P.



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