The Open Rights Group are looking for volunteers to observe electronic voting/counting pilots, being tested in eleven areas around the UK during the May 3, 2007 elections. Richard and I have volunteered for Bedford pilot, but there are still many other areas that need help. If you have the time to spare, find out the details and sign the pledge. You will need to be fast; the deadline for registering as an observer is April 4, 2007.
The e-voting areas are:
- Shrewsbury & Atcham
- South Bucks
- Swindon (near Wroughton, Draycot Foliat, Chisledon)
and the e-counting pilot areas are:
- South Bucks
- Warwick (near Leek Wootton, Old Milverton, Leamington)
One of the strongest objections against e-voting and e-counting is the lack of transparency. The source code for the voting computers is rarely open to audit, and even if it is, voters have no assurance that the device they are using has been loaded with the same software as was validated. To try to find out more about how the e-counting system will work, I sent a freedom of information request to Bedford council.
If you would like to find out more about e-voting and e-counting systems, you might like to consider making your own request, but remember that public bodies are permitted 20 working days (about a month) to reply, so there is not much time before the election. For general information on the Freedom of Information Act, see the guide book from the Campaign for Freedom of Information.
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What response did you get from Bedford council?
I received quite a bit of useful information, but we’re holding back talking publicly about the results until the Open Rights Group have been able to collate all the material. Their report should be released by June 20th.