Feeds

How scanners and PCs will choose London's mayor

Can e-counting technology get it right this time?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A recount would involve a statistically significant sample of the ballot papers being counted by hand, to check for any systematic counting errors in the electronic total. It would seem the ideal solution: a simple way of checking the integrity of the count that would silence all critics. So why not do it?

Bennet says that such an audit would be "meaningless" and bad for voter confidence. This is because the rules that govern the counting procedure do not allow for both a manual and electronic count.

Confident the voters will do what's right

The rules for the counting procedure for Greater London Authority elections differ from the rest of England and Wales, in that they are expected to be counted electronically. A manual count can be done, but only in exceptional circumstances. The rest of the country runs things the other way around: manual is preferred and electronic is possible in an emergency. In neither case do the rules allow for both methods to be used simultaneously.

"We could do a sample manual recount, but if it turned up a problem, we wouldn't be able to do anything about it, which would be the quickest way to collapse voter confidence in the result," Bennet told us.

This is an anathema to campaigners like Mercuri. "The law should always include some percentage of manual audit and there always must be a way that a problem with the check should trigger an investigation, possibly resulting in the discarding of the electronic totals."

And she is not the only one who thinks the electronic count should be audited. Becky Hogge, executive director of the Open Rights Group, says that ORG is campaigning for the law to be changed to make a manual recount of a statistically significant sample to be mandatory in all electronically counted elections.

Despite his confidence in the scanners, Bennet concedes there might be room for improvement in the way the elections are run. He notes that the GLRO can't actually order a recount; that can only be done on a local level, borough by borough. "It is possible that this might not be the most desirable situation," he says.

So, fingers crossed it'll all be alright on the night then.®

Polling stations open tomorrow at 7am and close at 10pm. London Elects says it will post results "as they happen" on May 2.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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?