Saturday, May 05, 2007

Election Chaos

Now that we've found out that over 100,000 ballots have been rejected due to being 'spoilt' I think they should all be recounted using common sense rather than a computer.

I strongly believe that most of the spoilt papers will be because somebody has placed a '1' where there should be a cross and a cross where there should be a number.

They should recount the papers such that a cross where there should be number = 1 and the number 1 where there should be a cross should be a cross. This would discard second, third and fourth choices of course - but would come up with a more accurate result.

Better yet, rerun the election in a few months time. I read somewhere on the internet that if this had have happened in Africa - Britain would be first shouting for a rerun!


sjmurdoch said...

Bedford, where I was an e-counting election observer for the Open Rights Group, had a similar problem. One ballot paper usually required a single cross and the other needed a "1" and "2". In the latter ballot, a single cross (very common) was sent for manual adjudication, but counted as a first preference. However, two crosses, for different candidates (also common) invalidated the ballot.

sjmurdoch said...

The electoral commission publishes a guide on how adjudicators should decide on doubtful ballots:

It does appear that the guidance goes along with your suggestion. I would hope that the software will pass any such ballots for adjudication and the guidance followed.