Feeds

DCA stands by postal vote software

Reported problems 'not an issue'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) has defended the technology to be used in verifying postal votes in May's local elections.

This follows reports that a number of councils have run into problems with the software to be used for the ballot.

The DCA said in a statement that it was not, to its knowledge, an issue for all returning officers or for many using the software provider Northgate.

It said the company had confirmed that only eight councils had not yet signed off on successful installation of the Pickwick postal vote identifier software. It has not yet clarified how many councils are due to use it.

"The government has provided the legislation, and significant sums of money (up to £12.2m) to implement postal vote identifiers," the DCA said. "We have worked closely with suppliers to ensure they will have appropriate products available, and continue to do so.

"They have all given assurances that they will have the appropriate systems in place. It is for returning officers to ensure they work closely with their chosen suppliers to complete installation of the software on their local IT in good time for the election."

Burnley BC, one of the councils selected for the trials, confirmed it had identified problems with the technology that would be used to read voter signatures on postal ballots.

A spokesperson told GC News that the software has been failing and that patches sent to fix the problem are causing data to be temporarily lost. The council is considering a number of manual security checks to overcome the problem.

The spokesperson added that council officials understand that other councils have been similarly affected.

Under new rules, voters can apply for postal ballots up to 11 days before the poll. A signature is required alongside a date of birth to provide identification.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.