Westminster has been “silent” in response to calls for Holyrood to have the power to run all Scottish elections, an SNP minister has claimed. Derek Mackay said the Scottish government had asked UK ministers to devolve these responsibilities. But he said it had received no response from the UK government. Transferring powers to run local council and Holyrood elections was a recommendations of the Gould report into the 2007 election fiasco. In May of that year, voters were left confused because of the design and number of the ballot papers. There were also failings in the electronic counting system which saw thousands of ballot papers for the Scottish and local elections rejected.
… Mr Mackay said an electronic counting system would be used again at the local elections, due to take place in May this year. He added that the system had been subjected to “rigorous testing” which “should protect against the failures of the past”.
With local authority elections using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system, where people rank candidates in order of preference, he said electronic counting was “almost inevitable” as counting votes manually would take “many days”. However, he said that research into the design of ballot papers had also highlighted a “continuing issue” that people “did not have sufficient knowledge of the Single Transferable Vote system”.