Tuesday, April 10, 2007


e-voting and a delayed count

For those who aren't aware, Sheffield will be conducting a second e-voting trial at the upcoming local elections.

Between 7.00 am on 26 April and 7.00 am on 30 April, those who have registered in advance for a password will be able to vote on the Internet or over the telephone.

There will also be an early voting "kiosk" at the Town Hall
available between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm on 26 to 29 April.

I will myself be sticking with a postal vote. I, like the rest of the Lib Dem group, have grave concerns over the ability to verify or challenge the e-vote: you are quite simply given a piece of paper with the result on come the day of the count.

The complexity of the new system means that the count will be held on Friday morning - a system which just seems wrong to me! I doubt I'll be able to muster much sleep, even after an exhausting 17-hour polling day.

However, there is a silver lining for us activists - for once we will be able to watch the election coverage on TV!

You can still register for a postal vote if you need one.


The problem is a lack of paper trail or auditing.

There are some suggested schemes to allow a paper trail, even with internet voting, but they are not being adopted of course.

I think the way to go is to use electronic scanners which read ballots, either hand marked or machine produced. Then if necessary a count can be done by hand too.

Is that right Tristan - a paper trail for internet voting? How could that work?


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