Links: 7-03-2007

  • Open Rights Group: Election Watch 2007
    The Open Rights Group (disclosure: I'm their e-voting campaign co-ordinator) are calling for volunteers to help observe the e-voting and e-counting pilots this May. ORG and our volunteers will be submitted for Electoral Commission accreditation which offers greater access (and responsibility) than previously possible.

  • Wired News/AP: Diebold may dump their e-voting unit
    Diebold weren't always in the voting business, they bought into it fairly recently, and given the trouble it's caused I'm not surprised to hear that they're considering dumping the unit to a private investor or competitor. Diebold's core businesses of ATMs and safes are not well served by the bad PR (self-inflicted, I might add) the election services unit keeps attracting. Diebold aren't the only e-voting provider with questionable practices and poor technology, they've just been much worse at dodging the bullets than some of the others!

  • The Sun: Phone voting computers crash and don't count incoming calls
    When you phone or text a vote for one of these TV competitions an insider reports that the computers often crash. The calls are still received, and callers charged, but votes are not counted particularly at peak times. Because there's no voter verification there's no way of knowing that your vote has actually been counted. It's also very much not in the supplier's interest to admit that something has gone wrong. I'm not surprised that problems have happened but I am mystified that after so many years of such shows being popular that the computers still can't cope with peak numbers of callers.

  • House of Commons: Home Affairs Select Committee evidence on secret ballots (1998)
    A rather interesting short transcript of evidence by academics to the committee regarding the UK's practice of non-secret ballots. The academics recommend going to fully secret ballots as the negative perception of numbered ballots alone is not worth the minimal benefits they offer, which are rarely used. (via Ideal Government)