All you have to do is vote. A sophisticated electronic system will take care of the rest. Where have we heard that before? In 2007 the message was the same: a complex voting system would be tamed by technology. Electronic counting – e-counting – would deliver election results which were secure, fast and accurate. Instead we got fiasco. Some counting machines initially refused to do their job. Thousands of voters found the ballot papers confusing. In some places the design of the papers was changed at the last minute. About 140,000 ballots were rejected as supposedly spoiled or blank. To cap it all, BBC Scotland then revealed that the overwhelming majority of those rejected votes had been ruled void automatically by the machines: no human had ever been involved in the process. And yet the 2007 burach was born from the best of intentions.
How to drive up voter turnout for local council elections? Why not have them on the same day as the Holyrood vote? For the first time councillors were to be elected by the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system. To its supporters a fairer way of doing things, but it’s time-consuming to produce a result. E-counting seemed the obvious answer – and if the machines could count the votes for councillors, it’d be a doddle for them to tot up all those Holyrood votes as well. What could possibly go wrong? As it turned out, just about everything.
Full Article: BBC News – Scottish council election: Will your vote count?.