Scotland throws out 140,000 electronic votes

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16 Responses to “Scotland throws out 140,000 electronic votes”

  1. Anonymous says:

    This Boingboing title and lead-in is misleading/mistaken. The problem isn’t “evotes,” it’s “scanning,” and the fact that Scotland has valid voting infrastructure is the reason this discrepency turned up at all.

    This article specifically mentions a paper trail. “In those circumstances the machine would count the good vote, reject the other one and automatically put the ballot paper in the pile alongside all the correctly-completed ballots.” (12th graf, right under “Human adjudication.”)

    This is a paper trail, folks. The Scots are doing it right. All is well.

    Well, maybe not all. The rules programmed into the optical scanners turned out to be the problem– but because there is a paper trail, we can correct the error– which appears to be happening now.

    Optical scanning is what we are fighting FOR in the states. If this were e-voting like we have in many places in the US, no one in Scotland would have any idea there had been a huge failure in these elections– THAT’S the story.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Great post.

  3. A New Challenger says:

    #9

    Anonymous delivers. I lol’d.

    The problem with e-voting is you can’t throw a machine in jail for tampering with elections. Well, you could, but it wouldn’t change anything (yet– positronics is still a bit off.) As the ORG link points out the machines are “black boxes” with no public accountability. And it seems rather silly to purchase these machines and use them for convenience’s sake when stories like this one provide a lot of evidence that live human beings for whom trust and the threat of imprisonment actually mean something will be needed to look at all of the ballots anyway.

  4. Anonymous says:

    They have ballet scanning machines??? Cool!

  5. klg19 says:

    Ballet scanning machines? Oh, those wacky Scots!

  6. Anonymous says:

    What are “ballet” scanning machines? Do Scots vote via interpretive dance?

    I love the new Boingboing redesign, but perhaps that effort would be much better spent on a proofreader or editor to counter the myriad spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors that crop up on a daily basis.

    It would be wonderful if the structure of your content was as consistent as your articles are unique and interesting.

  7. Teresa Nielsen Hayden/Moderator says:

    Anonymous #7, I’m not the least bit insecure about my spelling and grammar, and I know the incidence of errors in this weblog. I’m certainly not going to get into a spelling and grammar thrash with you; they’re dull as ditchwater unless you’re hanging out at Language Hat or a very short list of other websites, which we aren’t.

    Sorry. It’s Scottish electoral scandals or nothing.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “ballet scanning machines”

    Have you people ever heard of *editors*?

  9. Anonymous says:

    “Myriad” has tremendous credibility when I see obvious and easily-correctable errors like this on Boingboing almost every single day. I don’t think the lack of other glaring errors in a single article makes or breaks your reputation, but seriously, choose your battles. This is one that you can win with very little effort (give as much attention to the editing process as you do to research and writing) and it deserves your attention.

  10. Cory Doctorow says:

    Sorry about the typo. I’m behind the Great Firewall of China this week and doing all my editing through TOR, which is extremely slow — like editing BB by directing an RC robot on a distant planet to type on the keyboard.

  11. Teresa Nielsen Hayden/Moderator says:

    Sorry, “myriad” has no credibility. It’s reasonably clean text.

  12. Will says:

    Hey, Cory, where’s the entry on China’s Great Firewall? Your mention of Tor, which I use every day for reading the BBC, but which makes updating the blog (or viewing porn) excruciating, makes me think of what Montaigne said about 16th century condoms- “Armor against passion, gossamer against infection.”

  13. Anonymous says:

    Dear Organisers of Elections,

    In order to vote in an election we will require a piece of paper with a list of candidates on it. We are happy to bring our own pencils.

    Yours Faithfully,

    The Electorate

  14. Will says:

    Hey, Cory, where’s the entry on China’s Great Firewall? Your mention of Tor, which I use every day for reading the BBC, but which makes updating the blog (or viewing porn) excruciating, makes me think of what Montaigne said about 16th century condoms- “Armor against passion, gossamer against infection.”

  15. A New Challenger says:

    Err, make that #10. The intentionally humorous backwards misogyny. Either I need to pay more attention or there was a comment timewarp.

    And thanks to #11 for RTFA, which I failed to do until Anonymous delivered yet again. This does appear to be a bad error, but isn’t the Diebold “black box” by a good measure. Speaking of touchscreen voting, I did notice last year that the machines printed a ballot that scrolled through a clear window and was stored in the machine, presumably for adjudication purposes. That doesn’t change any of the concerns about the security of the machines, but I thought I’d mention it. And then I did.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This has been grossly mis-reported in the media and is tarnishing Scotland’s great democratic reputation. We were simply discarding all the women’s votes.

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