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

Louise Ferguson louise.ferguson at gmail.com
Wed Oct 25 15:07:52 IST 2006

On 25/10/06, Louise Ferguson <louise.ferguson at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 25/10/06, Dr J Pelan <J.Pelan at gatsby.ucl.ac.uk> wrote:
> >
> >
> > > 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.
> The turnout issue is highly relevant, as each and every move by the UK
> government on e-voting has been accompanied by the turnout argument (but
> without any supporting turnout facts). No, it's not a meanigful argument (
> e.g. additional marketing paid for by central government, headlines in the
> local papers on novelty etc etc), but it does need to be refuted every time
> it's trundled out.

I should say that the only other UK turnout data has previously been from
the Electoral Commission (from the pilot reports they publish). There were a
number of permutations of pilot channels in any given constituency, and the
data pretty inconclusive. The figures were never quoted by the government
during their subsequent turnout arguments, presumably because they provided
no support for the government's point on turnout.

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