Wednesday, August 27, 2008


It would seem that the way we vote for our local and national Government is dated, well I never, you go down to a school or other comunity building and hand over your polling card, then you have to tell them your postcode, because no fraudster could ever remember it from your polling card? then you go to a little quarter of a display stand and pencil in a cross.

But thats not what they are talking about?

The UK's electoral system is stuck in the 19th Century and is under "severe strain", a report says.

The Electoral Commission said the rules on running elections should be simpler and the role of returning officers should be strengthened.

It also backs new electoral management boards, to support and co-ordinate local elections.

Commission chairman Sam Younger said "a consistently high standard of service for all electors" was needed.

'Fragmented arrangements'

The report follows the 2007 elections in Scotland, which were plagued by delays and in which more than 140,000 ballot papers were rejected.

An independent study found mistakes at all levels and suggested voters were treated as an "afterthought".

The commission said it was unlikely that the "current fragmented arrangements for electoral administration" would be used if the system was being designed from scratch.

The planning and running of elections need to be more robust and co-ordinated
Sam Younger
Electoral Commission

It proposes that funding for electoral administration should be improved, changes to electoral law finalised at least six months before any election and returning officers' roles strengthened.

It also suggests bringing returning officers and registration officers together into regional electoral management boards to co-ordinate local elections.

And the commission says its own role should be strengthened to keep checks on standards of those in charge of running elections.

The report calls for existing laws on managing elections to be "rationalised and consolidated" and focused on "clearly articulating electoral policy rather than micro-managing the delivery of elections".

Mr Younger said: "The planning and running of elections need to be more robust and co-ordinated. We are still trying to run 21st Century elections with 19th Century structures, and the system is under severe strain."

He added: "Our proposal is designed to allow local returning officers to continue to respond to local circumstances while ensuring that there is a consistently high standard of service for all electors across the UK." BBC News

Personally I would digitise it, I would have touch screen minitors at the polling station, you give your polling card, and tell them your postcode? they activate the next available monitor, you then touch the candidate of your choice. This would give a constant update of the voting at HQ, removing the need for hundreds of people counting and also human error. They could also save the need for people staying up all night waiting, come 9pm when the polling stations close the returning officer goes to the main PC enters his code number up pop the results he prints them off and off he goes, all over by 9:30.

It seems simple to me....