[personal] Re: [nSLUG] HRM wants to try online voting

Trevor Smith trevor at haligonian.com
Wed Jan 14 16:54:10 AST 2004

On January 14, 2004 02:35 am, Jason Kenney wrote:
> How long does it take to count the votes as it is now? Under an hour in
> almost all cases. I also believe that all parties are entitled to have

Not according to the mayor of Saint John's (or is that Saint John?). She said 
that she does not want to move to a computerized voting system specifically 
because it would deprive people of the numerous hours of suspense and drama 
during the counting process. I kid you not, I heard her say it out loud on 
the CBC yesterday.

> representatives witness the counting process. They can also request a
> recount.

And this right would not be negated by the OCR system.

> If you have a computer counting the votes, then if a recount is requested,
> it would surely have to be done by hand again anyway. It seems like all


> that is being accomplished is moving from writing on paper to writing on a
> screen because it's more fun - not any more functional.

You misunderstood the system I was referring to. As I said, it is a PAPER 
ballot that is marked by the voter, just like always. The ballot is read by 
the OCR system. Hence there is a paper backup for audit purposes if needed, 
but the mass of vote counting is done instantly and is already finished the 
second the polling station closes.

> In the case of a spoiled ballot, I think most people are capable of not
> spoiling a ballot - unless they intend to.

Your belief may be correct. "Most" people probably are capable. But some are 

> I'd be willing to bet the cost of this system would pay for quite a few
> roads...

Elections already cost money. They are making (empty) threats about not having 
one in NB because they can't get the people needed to handle the old fashion 
manual voting system.

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