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Thousands of spoilt ballot papers.

Itsme | 04.05.2007 06:50 | Repression | Social Struggles

There was voting chaos last night in Scotland.

It has been estimated that spoilt ballot papers could exceed 100,000 nationwide. There have also been problems with automatic counting machines which have been chewing up ballot papers. Then there is the disquiet over postal voting, which is wide open to abuse. All in all this makes a mockery of our so-called democracy.



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And still

04.05.2007 07:07

they won.

Har Har

More spoiled ballots than votes for winner

04.05.2007 07:49

Tory leader Annabel Goldie said: "As we predicted, the numbers of spoilt votes has dramatically increased as voters face two voting systems with three votes.

"In some seats the number of spoilt ballots has increased tenfold and on occasion is greater than that of the majority of the winning candidate."

If voting changed anything it would be illegal

Dual standards

04.05.2007 10:10

Bad night for the Socialists and the SNP. Both expected to do a lot better. It was like the old days where nobody in England ever admited voting for Thatcher but she kept winning. It seems that when asked in the street we talk a good Left wing talk but in the polling booth its Labour again.

I suppose it won't be long before the first talk of a concipracy about the machines is heard.



04.05.2007 10:58

SNP Prgogress in Glasgow:

Glasgow Anniesland Bill Kidd SNP +10.4%
Glasgow Baillieston Lachlan McNeill +11.2%
Glasgow Cathcart James Dornan +12.7%
Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White +7.6%
Glasgow Maryhill Bob Doris +14.2%
Glasgow Pollok Chris Stephens +12.1%
Glasgow Rutherglen Margaret Park +9.2%
Glasgow Shettleston John McLaughlin +13.5%
Glasgow Springburn Anne McLaughlin +12.1%

Glasgow Govan Nicola Sturgeon +10.7%


Looks like the poll was pretty much right regarding a swing to SNP. And SNP took Govan!

It's hardly a disaster. The Regions and the Lists are still to come.

NewLabour have had so far quite a kicking in England:

Sweaty Sock

This sucks

04.05.2007 13:55

Sheridan is out, and the Greens and the Socialists are doing poorly in the list vote - although it's obviously the Socialist's own fault - to the benefit of the SNP. I feel sorry for the greens. At least they used to come on Critical Mass now and again!

We could end up with the worst of both worlds, with all the minor parties being wiped out, who, while the may be "trots" and "reformists" etc., at least oppose the M74 extension, and publicize anti-capitalist ideas. Meanwhile the SNP may not become the largest party. I guess in that case the Lib-LD coalition will reform, and the SNP will drift to the left, and it's electoral base will fragment. Once Blair is gone we will be back to traditional voting patterns, and the small parties will start to resurge gradually, but their growth will have been arrested by all those people that thought that voting Nat is really a viable protest vote because vague nationalism is somehow better than "reformism", if it's a little more populist.

OTOH, if the SNP do "do it", roll on independence - at least it will shake things up...


Gerrymandering for Dummies

04.05.2007 14:26

This is a self-admitted repost of a comment I just made on the 'Don't Vote' feature. Sorry, I think it is important enough to repost but I won't make a habit out of it.

The 'buggy new voting technology' is maybe new to the election but it is just 20 year old technology badly implemented. The company DRS also ran the London mayoral elections combined with a simuiltaneous EU vote, with roughly the same populace as Scotland. So what went wrong ?

A political pundit on the BBC (Tom somebody) said today 'The votes were counted alright, then they were sent to a central computer which refused to send them back'. Other punters made similar comments throughout the night. It wasn't that the votes weren't being scanned in, it was the processing of the data that caused delays.

And why would that be ? Once the data has been scanned in, that is the hard, slow, mechanical part of the job over. In a way, delays caused by that could be perfectly innocent and even expected. But why should it be hard to collate that amount of data ? The crappy PC I am typing on would be capable of handling that amount of data in real-time. Seriously, this used to be my job and I am qualified to say that.

One thing that would slow it down and cause delays is a total system failure, obviously the computer would be replaced and the process restarted. That'd take about an hour.

I admit this is pure speculation, but another reason to delay the processing is to give someone time to massage the figures. I hate to quote myself from this same thread but as I said before the eelection: "Much more serious, whenever you introduce any computer into a system, it provides a single point of failure, a single point that can be hacked into and corrupted. Speaking as a computer guy, there is no way computers should be anyway involved in elections."

I also feel that 100,000 spoiled ballots are unacceptably high. In a great many wards the number of spoiled ballots are higher than the majorities of the returned politicians. I presume what has happened is that if someone has made any error on the ballot paper then the whole ballot has been declared 'spoiled'. ( I doubt the 'Vote Nobody' campaign was quite that succcessful !) In effect, there are three votes on this single sheet of paper, and two different voting methods. There is the list vote, the consituency vote, and the councillor vote. So if someone put an X next to their councillors name instead of a 1, then their list and constituency vote would have been ignored even if correctly marked. If somebody put a 1 next to their MSP and a 2 next to another MSP, then all their other votes would be discounted too. This is patently nonsense. A computer judges ballot papers without the slightest human discretion or understanding. They should not be used in elections.

The Electoral Commission has announced a serious review of last nights debacle. I don't think this is good enough. I think this election should be declared null and void, all the ballots should be recounted by hand the good old fashioned way. I don't see why it was changed. This isn't 'sour grapes' on my part - all the candidates I supported won.


"Possibly one in ten votes disqualified"

04.05.2007 15:32

Some stuffed shirt was on the BBC earlier demanding that Scottish voters be issued a "strong apology".

Total insanity. If you have a return where the spoils outnumber the majority a serious consideration of annulment must happen- assuming that the retuning officer has already inspected the "offending" papers and concluded no obvious sense can be made on them.

I hate to be pessimistic but I get the sinking feeling that LibDem are going to jump straight into bed with McConnell if that opportunity arises.

If that happens then next election I'm going to leaflet & poster against them as a pro-nuclear & pro-war party- at my own expense.

Nice to see Argyll & Bute going to SNP, that'll bug the shit out the local pro-Trident politicians.

Sweaty Sock