We have enough problems raising turnout without 146,000 votes being rejected

It was evident to me very early on the night of the Scottish elections that something very odd was happening with the voting.

There were in the first few announced results an astonishingly high number of rejected ballots, and with issues in Ohio and Florida in mind, where counting machines rejected tens of thousands of votes in the US presidential elections, it seemed as if we had another scandal on our hands.

A report today concluded that Scotland's voters were let down by inadequate systems, a lack of proper education of the different methods of voting and a lack of planning and organisation by the authorities. the results was that 146,000 votes were not counted.

It is difficult enough giving people a reason to vote anyway with them thinking that their vote might not count. This hardly engenders trust in the democratic process.

Of course much more locally to me, Breckland Council used electronic counting machines which provided in one ward a completely different results from the hand counted version of the result. The report in to the Scotland fiasco concludes that counting machines were not to blame. However, it does seem odd to exonerate counting machines completely. Sometimes there is nothing better than the old, slower but fully transparent system that is the tradition way of counting votes, and that is by a human and by hand.

I am against changing the way votes are counted and think we seriously need to think about the fraud that can go on. Not perhaps as organised and "party political" as the fraud surrounding postal voting, but the fraud of the electorate that goes on by having systems in place that cannot be checked, verified or scrutinised.

1 comment:

DAH said...

Counting votes is a bit like justice: Not only must the votes be counted correctly, but they must be seen to have been counted correctly.