Feeds

Watchdog boss blasts Britain's e-voting plans

Blighty vote fraud may be worst in Europe

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life yesterday delivered a stinging attack on attempts to modernise the British voting system.

Speaking to the annual seminar of the Association of Electoral Administrators in Brighton, Sir Alistair Graham suggested that electoral fraud has increased sharply as a result of postal voting, and that e-voting should be postponed or scrapped.

"Let me make it clear that I am no Luddite," said Sir Alistair. "Alternative forms of voting may have their place." But, he said democracy was not "a pick 'n' mix commodity...voting is a civic duty, it is not like shopping".

The influential vigilance chief suggested that a decline in turnout could not be fixed by making the voting process easier, and that such initiatives merely opened up backdoors for electoral fraudsters.

He admitted that the number of votes cast in local elections had apparently increased in some areas following the introduction of postal balloting. However, he suggested that perhaps the extra votes had been posted in job lots by corrupt party hacks, rather than by individual stay-at-home citizens.

"Turnout at local elections has increased but can we be sure that it is genuine?"

Sir Alistair also revealed that a delegation from the Council of Europe is currently mulling whether to invoke international monitoring of British elections. The council normally monitors countries in the Balkans and the former USSR; the only western-European nation under examination is Monaco.

Ironically, despite the fact that democracy is a relatively recent innovation for many continental nations, they may – in the council's view – already be better at implementing it than the UK.

Against this background, Sir Alistair suggested that plans to pilot telephone, text, and e-voting during the upcoming May local elections should "be put on hold". He said the current situation was "akin to a bank which secures an individual's transactions but had not verified that individual's identity when he opened his account".

The full speech text is available here (Word document). ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.