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Larbert, Scotland, United Kingdom

Saturday, May 5, 2007

MTAS cloned? (aka Election Guddle)

Well I have finally caught up on my sleep having stayed up all Thursday night to watch the shambolic event that was the Scottish election count. The main points were.
  1. This was a new untested system (untested on this scale).
  2. The Government did not listen to experts in the field who told them not to run two elections using different systems on the same day
  3. Computer / IT problems - the computers would count but not output the final vote
  4. Government blamed the voters - some sheets were rejected (10% of total) as incorrectly filled in
  5. Late running - the postal votes were not sent out until the Monday before polling day, when many people who wanted them were on holiday.
  6. Making it up as we go along - if the X was not clear in a box, the returning officers could look at the appear to see if it was poor handwriting etc. Due to the huge number of such papers, some were being trained how to do this on the night - Training in a Live environment with little supervision.
Anyone spot any similarity to MTAS????

Unlike MTAS, the returning officers just ignored the rejected vote since the 100,000 discounted voters won't know that they have been disenfranchised.

See also the fantastic election blog by Brian Taylor, BBC Political guy with fancy braces and ties. I would like to just quote one post from Brian's blog.

Ah bourach

  • Brian Taylor 4 May 07, 12:51 PM

Let's cut to the chase here re: this voting guddle. There was a big problem getting out the correct number of postal ballots. There was a huge challenge for voters in filling in the ballot forms. There was then a problem with e-counting.

That means the authorities are saying:

1. we couldn't get all the ballot papers out
2. they were so complex, folk couldn't fill them in
3. when they finally filled them in, we couldn't count the blasted things!

There's a splendid Gaelic word, bourach. It means an utter, hideous mess. This is bourach, Mach Five.

Differences to MTAS
Everyone under the sun has promised investigations - judicial; public; independent; by the suppliers; by the civil service; by the press.

And the result.......

Well the SNP got the most seats, but until a coalition government is formed, we don;t yet know who is in charge, what comprises must be made, or what the Health policies will be.

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