Friday, May 04, 2007

One Hundred Thousand Disenfranchised Scots

Wow, I thought election ballot controversy was something only America did so spectacularly but no, Scotland is fast on their heels. According to the Beeb -
"The counts in Aberdeen, Argyll and Bute, Edinburgh, Eastwood, Perth and Tayside North and Strathkelvin and Bearsden were suspended until later on Friday due to technical problems."
And
"The polls have been hit by major problems with seven counts suspended and up to 100,000 ballot papers spoilt."
I have been bemoaning the fact that I am not classed as a Scottish citizen and therefore unable to vote in this election but if I was in Scotland, allowed to vote, and faced with this kind of fiasco I'd be really really pissed off!!

The Scotland Office said in a statement
"The independent Electoral Commission will undertake a statutory review into the conduct of this election. It is important that they look as a matter of urgency into delays in postal ballots, the high number of spoiled ballot papers, and the performance of the electronic counting machines."
And there was this from the commission:
"A commission spokeswoman said she could not comment on whether the election would have to be re-run."

OK, can we have more bungling please? When will people realise there is something authentic about a pencil, a piece of paper, a box to cross, and people at tables into the night counting by hand whilst supervised by officials. Computers crash, programs malfunction - is speed and convenience more important than democracy - ask the 100,000 really pissed off Scots who were disenfranchised by bungling politicians and their new toys.

1 comment:

Travis said...

Agreed! Technology is a wonderful thing. But we're seeing repeatedly that it creates more harm than good with respect to elections.

Give us simple ballots, let us mark our votes, and let us put them in a bin and rest assured that a real person will tabulate the votes.

There's always the possibility of human error. But a person won't shred thousands of ballots or lose them during a computer crash!