Scottish election results delayed by e-voting problems

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Scottish election results delayed by e-voting problems

Will Hadfield

The count at the Scottish elections was delayed by problems with a new electronic vote counting system last week.

On Friday 4 May, seven counts were suspended and thousands of ballot papers were recorded as spoiled after the new system from software supplier DRS struggled to cope with the most complex election in Scottish history.

In a statement, DRS said that the automated counting system experienced problems with the “consolidation” of the votes.

The Scottish elections were made more complex because three different voting systems were used to count votes for the joint council and Scottish Parliament elections.

The £4.3m IT system counts votes by scanning ballot papers. For the Scottish elections, it started by counting first-past-the-post constituency votes for the Scottish Parliament. Secondly, it registered votes for the regional list and finally, it registered the order of preference for the single-transferable vote.

Deputy Scottish Secretary David Cairns said in April, “People should have confidence to know that if things do go catastrophically wrong, we will still have the bits of paper and could do a manual recount if needed.”

The Electoral Commission has announced a statutory review into the conduct of the election.

The Scotland Office offered its support to the statutory review.
 
How DRS won the Scottish elections contract >> 
 
How the Scottish elections plunged into crisis >>  

E-voting: the people's choice >>

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