British Report on E-Voting

In even more voting news, the UK Electoral Commission released a report on the 2007 e-voting and e-counting pilots. The results are none too good:

The Commission’s criticism of e-counting and e-voting was scathing; concerning the latter saying that the “security risk involved was significant and unacceptable.” They recommend against further trials until the problems identified are resolved. Quality assurance and planning were found to be inadequate, predominantly stemming from insufficient timescales. In the case of the six e-counting trials, three were abandoned, two were delayed, leaving only one that could be classed as a success. Poor transparency and value for money are also cited as problems. More worryingly, the Commission identify a failure to learn from the lessons of previous pilot programmes.

Posted on August 6, 2007 at 10:21 AM8 Comments


rapier57 August 6, 2007 12:33 PM

They should adopt the motto from Calvin and Hobbes: Live and don’t learn, that’s us.

Dom De Vitto August 6, 2007 1:56 PM

However postal vote fraud is quite easy to detect and check up on.

I believe that at least one MP was sacked due to this at the last election?

Geoff Lane August 6, 2007 4:49 PM

The real problem is the government believes every word it ever heard from paid consultants and never learns from experience.

It is this kind of wild optimism and refusal to listen to those who have no financial interest that makes some of us very scared about the ID card scheme.

Voter August 6, 2007 6:04 PM

The British government has an almost religious belief in the power of IT to solve its problems. As long as there’s a computer involved, the British government will always buy in to whatever scheme is proposed.

As for engineering and design stuff, ugh! that’s geek speak and its not cool.

Nostromo August 7, 2007 7:09 AM

@Geoff Lane:
Failure to learn from experience, refusal to listen – yes. But there is also an element of corruption involved. Senior civil servants and some politicians look forward to lavishly-paid jobs at the big consultancy companies that benefit from all the wasteful expenditure. This has happened a number of times. The ongoing value they then provide to the consultancies is, of course, their contacts to more bureaucrats and pols who can be corrupted in the same way.

Politicians are not, in general, stupid. Merely power-hungry, grasping, and amoral.

Clive Robinson August 7, 2007 7:25 AM


You missed one bit, most of the technology organisations that want the Governments businness appear to be very very fond of supporting Party Political meetings by paying well over the odds for “Discussion groups”, and other things like stands and side rooms etc.

It is noticable that this sort of “party political” sponsorship does not have to be declaired in the same way that other sponsorship has to be (register of interests etc etc).

So with expenditure likley to be well in excess of 20,000,000,000GBP over the first few years there is likley to be one heck of a lot of profitable slack in the system, you just have to get your nose recognised and a place reserved at the trough…

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