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Counting Votes

nheather

Distinguished Member
Why does it take twice as long to count votes for Local Elections as it does for General Elections?

Why don't polling stations allow you to record your votes electronically?

Accepting that votes are made on paper, why aren't they counted electronically?


Seems very archaic to me.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Yes, I can provide a lot of answers my self such as

A1 - They don't put as many resources on it. Because it is an opportunity for some local volunteers to express an air of self importance.

A2 - Because of the cost, because some people would need 'training', because they can be damaged (accidentally or deliberately), because they could be hacked

A3 - No real answer for this one. Technology to count choices made by 'cross in the box' has been around and in use for decades

I wasn't really thinking of online voting (though to be honest, I can't see why not). Was more thinking of machines in the polling stations. You go up with your ballet card, are given a voting slip but it has a barcode on it. You scan it and press a button indicating a choice (you can change as often as you want until you press commit), then press a button to confirm when you are happy with that choice.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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Sonic67

Banned
I think having something physical gives something anyone can check later. With something electronic how can you be certain if it has been hacked or not? With your system you'd have to go back to each person and ask what they did press.
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
I think the manual system we have is the best because we can always do a recount.

If you had asked me years ago, when they had electronic systems in the US, I would have probably said that was the way to go.

Ask me now, and I know that hacking is a possibility, I'd say keep it old fashioned.
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
I don't like electronic voting.

What's that? We put our votes into a computer, then the computer tells us how we've voted?

I remember the Florida debacle and there were other issues. In one it turned out the electronic voting had been privatised out to a company - one if the board of directors was Bush's brother.

Someone asked to check the software to make sure it was kosher and they weren't allowed.

Steve W
 

pandemic

Prominent Member
I presume the reason it takes so much longer is in local elections we can vote for several candidates, usually 3 in my area. So you cannot have stack of votes for each candidate piled high. Then again it could just be that their aren't as many vote counters.

Personally, I don't have an issue with an electronic system the necessary precautions can be taken to avoid foul play. There would no faulty votes as the system could verify the vote before submitting.
 

Jamezinho

Distinguished Member
Should we do away with postal votes? Aren't they vulnerable to fraud too?
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I think having something physical gives something anyone can check later. With something electronic how can you be certain if it has been hacked or not? With your system you'd have to go back to each person and ask what they did press.

No you wouldn't. Remember I said that you are still given a ballot paper but it just has a barcode (or similar) on which is referenced to your voter number when you check in.

When you scan the barcode your vote is registered and the system won't let you vote again.

So you still have a paper trail if need be.

And if the system was done correctly, why would you need a recount?

But I do take people's point about the civil services past record of delivering successful IT systems - it is woeful.

To be honest I reckon that the current system can be hacked quite easily.

I could have taken my son's card down and voted using it - I don't beleive any check that they do today would have prevented that.

Likewise if I lived in a communal area with a shared letterbox, reckon you could take all of those and vote using them.

If you are a postie you could probably lift quite a few and vote with those.

And if I pushed blank piece of paper in the box, walked out with my slip, photocopied it, came back and posted those I wouldn't be surprised if that would get through too. Yes they might all have the same number but they are counted manually and when they count them they don't cross reference against the voter list so I doubt duplicates would be picked up.

As for being spotted, the system is run by OAPs and PTA\Soccer mums - doubt they would spot anything.

Obviously none of this would work on a huge scale but then neither would hacking the computer.

But what about counting - why is that done manually, even using today's system.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
Electronic voting is decades off from being a reliable and secure method for voting.
Do some research into the links between the Republican Party and those who make the voting machines in the US and your eyes may roll quite a lot.

As for why the counts are slower ? It's simple really, when it's a general election they want to be the first to return a result and the volume of votes is that much greater than in Local elections. The sooner they start the quicker they can count and do recounts. And the sooner the Queen can ask the leader who can command the confidence of the House to form a government. Otherwise due to the constitution, you have the current Government in charge while waiting for the votes to roll in.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I could have taken my son's card down and voted using it - I don't beleive any check that they do today would have prevented that.

You could have easily voted in your son's name without even that.

They don't check anything, just ask you what your address is, and if someone hasn't voted at that address they ask you which one you are :)

And you can easily read off the names at the address before they ask.
 

pandemic

Prominent Member
locally, we've just had electronic voting for the Heathrow expansion referendum (I voted against expansion)
- London Borough of Hillingdon - Expansion at Heathrow

Interesting, when I hear electronic voting I don't associate it being over the internet. To me it's more an electronic terminal at the voting booth, we vote and the terminal does all the counting so the results are 'instantly' available once the voting deadline has passed.
 

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