[E-voting] E-voting/e-counting chaos in scotland

Dr J Pelan J.Pelan at gatsby.ucl.ac.uk
Fri May 4 13:58:01 IST 2007

On Fri, 4 May 2007, Casey, Dermot (GE Money) wrote:

> "The polls have been hit by major problems with seven counts suspended 
> and an unprecedented number of spoilt ballots papers recorded.There are 
> fears the national figure for spoilt ballots could exceed 100,000.

Although there have been genuine technical problems which have caused 
delays, the spoiling issue at this stage appears to be entirely related to 
voter confusion - there are local and parliament elections running in 
parallel and they use different types of ballot.

In 2006, the Arbuthnott Commission recommended that the two Scottish 
elections be run on different days precisely because voter confusion would 
occur. It appears their warnings were well founded.

I would recommend waiting for the dust to settle before making any 
comments about the e-counting system per se. It should also be noted that 
the 2004 London elections using similar automated counting machines passed 
without any significant hitches and there were ~6m ballots counted there.

John P.

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