David Mundell MP

David Mundell MP (Conservative), MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

Issues

Electronic Voting

BBC Ballots 'rejected automatically' 3 September 2007 David Mundell said he was "appalled" by the claims that tens of thousands of votes in the Holyrood election were rejected by the counting machines without any human adjudication and that the information had to be "dragged out of" the Scotland Office.

"Right from the start the Scotland Office did not come clean about the mishandling of the elections"
"Unfortunately it has become part of a series of revelations. Right from the start the Scotland Office did not come clean about the mishandling of the elections," he told BBC Scotland.
"Rather than putting their hands up and saying 'we made a complete hash of this and we apologise to the people of Scotland', they've just continued to show arrogance and contempt, as if somehow it was nothing to do with them."

House of Commons debate Scottish Parliamentary Elections 23 May 2007

No doubt the use of e-counting in the elections played a major role in the decisions to change ballot papers. Electronic counting was introduced as a means to an end. It was adopted initially, it was said, to shorten the amount of time taken to count local ballots, because counting votes manually under the new STV system would take days rather than hours. But it is quite clear that e-counting became a means in itself in Edinburgh and Glasgow, where, instead of altering the ballot papers by deleting instructional information, there should have been a manual count if the machines could not cope.
The willingness to change fundamental aspects of the election process to suit the needs of electronic counting and DRS—its operator—has compromised the integrity of the electoral process. We must ask ourselves the serious question of whether, after these events, e-counting can give everyone the confidence that the election count is being carried out appropriately. Many candidates complained in the media that they had no idea of the outcome of their election until a few minutes before it was announced—unlike what happens with the traditional hand count.

Links

News

2007-09-03 - The Register - Voting machines ditch ballots in Scotland
Author: Lucy Sherriff
Summary: More than seventy thousand votes in the recent Scottish elections were rejected by the electronic counting machines, with no human oversight. The news has dismayed observers, with new First Minister Alex Salmond describing the news as "astonishing", and deeply disturbing. He told the BBC that he had been under the impression that all discounted ballots were checked by a person.
2007-05-05 - The Guardian - Recrimination follows chaos over new Scots voting procedures
Author: Severin Carrell
Summary: ... David Mundell, Tory shadow Scottish secretary, said it had been an error for the Scottish executive and Scotland Office to stage Holyrood and council elections the same day, using "untried and new technology" and different voting systems.
20001-01-11 - The Guardian - MPs off-message on internet revolution
Author: David Walker
Summary: ... As a group, Tory members of the Scottish parliament have got their internet act together at www.tory.msp.org.uk. MSP David Mundell says "the website is a good way of getting information out. The web will become increasingly important but will not replace traditional methods. Here in Scotland the most important medium is the local newspaper." But the web is an excellent way of getting through to young people, he says. "Modernisation" has figured in Labour's rhetoric in recent years but it is no guarantee that Labour members will seize their net opportunities. Ideology and use of the net are not easy to correlate. Some reactionaries have good sites; many liberal modernisers are still, it seems, internet virgins.

This page was last edited on 15 June 2011, at 20:19.

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