Report on Scotland’s 2007 voting fiasco

Pretty damning, especially the parts about the electoral process being driven by party interests. Just wait til you get to pages 40-50 and read about the inability to make a decision on time or allocate responsibilities clearly, even when trying to fix the system to keep the Labour party in power. You’ll be able to thrill your friends with stories of the incompetence of the Labourite numpties that ran/run Scotland.

It supports the continuing use of electronic counting technology, so that the STV system can be used and still come up with results in a reasonable time. On the other hand it strongly recommends against electronic voting.

Update 1
You can read a a transcript of the debate in the UK Parliament at TheWorkForYou here. To quote the shadow Secretary of State (and sole Conservative MP in Scotland):

The review has revealed not only partisan decision making but serial incompetence: Ministers unable to pass legislation in time, unable to take decisions in time and unable to communicate with their counterparts in Scotland; decisions taken against all advice and two different elections with two different voting systems on the same day, with votes to be counted electronically through the night. The fact that the election was not an even worse shambles is due to the work of returning officers and their officials, who should never have been treated in such a cavalier manner.
David Mundell (Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale, Conservative)

Says it all, really.

Update 2
Jason Kitcat has summarised the Open Rights Group response here, noting that the Review

…unfortunately fails to address the security and technical issues encountered by ORG observers. It seems that once again a lack of technical expertise has led an elections report team to focus on other matters at the expense of important issues regarding the security, accuracy and auditability of e-voting and e-counting systems.

In fact, one of the recommendations was to abandon e-counting for elections to the Scottish Parliament. Another giant step into the future for Scotland.


About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
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