970 rejected papers ? Are dodgy counting machines catching the US disease ?

Having just heard the result of Jack McConnell in Scotland, I was astonished to hear that there were 970 rejected votes.

I know that in Scotland they are "pioneering" using counting machines and the astonishingly high 970 rejected votes would indicate that if counting machines are being used, they are doing something badly wrong.

Update - Glasgow Kelvin has 1170 rejected papers. What the hell is going on in Scotland ?


doctorvee said...

It is not the counting machines to blame, because spoilt papers are declared as such by humans once flagged up by the machines.

Instead, it is probably voters getting confused between the different voting systems being used.

But it is terrible that the story in Scotland seems to be more about the non-results than the results at the moment.

Matt said...

We managed to get this picked up for the BBC coverage, via Alex Hilton, so the issue should run in the MSM.

Keep on plugging.

Matt Wardman

Joe Otten said...

Yes, papers that are unscannable are spit out by the scanners and entered manually. Those the scanners can't identify as valid votes are adjudicated manually.

It does seem that a few people are voting with preferences on the wrong ballot paper. However most misvotes I've seen are things like 2 X's in one contest - which has always been an invalid vote.

The problem, of course, is not using STV for the parliament.

Tristan said...

As doctorvee said its not the machines here - although there have been some problems with them breaking down too it appears.

The machine does not mark any ballots as spoiled, it just puts them aside for human inspection.

It is also a very different situation to the 'hanging chads' where the debate was over whether intent was clear and the machine was to blame - here intent is not clear because people found it difficult to fill in the ballots.

I don't mind this sort of machine counting as there's a paper trail - if necessary the votes can be counted by hand. Its the voting machines which don't leave a paper trail which are a danger and open to undetectable fraud.

Liam Murray said...

I'd echo Doctorvee - this has little to do with the machines. It's people to stupid to mark two 'x's and count to 3....

Joe Otten said...

Lots of spoils involved two Xs, but both on the list. But it did look like one long list carrying over into a second column, rather than two separate contests.