Des Browne

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Desmond Henry Browne, Baron Browne of Ladyton, former Labour MP for Kilmarnock & Loudoun.

Electronic Voting

House of Commons debate Scottish Elections 2007 23 October 2007

"Mr. Gould recommends that electronic counting should in future be restricted to local government elections, and I am happy to accept today that electronic counting will not be required for separate Scottish parliamentary polls."
"The changes announced today, and those that I have committed to consider further, should give Scottish voters confidence that the experience of 3 May will not be repeated. Specifically, the commitment to use two separate ballot papers for the Scottish parliamentary poll and the removal of the need to use electronic counting outside the Scottish local elections will make elections in Scotland simpler and ensure that future polls are not defined by administrative problems."
Responses to questions put to him in the same debate.
...That is the responsibility of the devolved Administration. It will have to decide how that goes forward, and who, if anyone, it will contract with for electronic counting of ballot papers—if it agrees that that is necessary. For my part, I think that the decoupling of the elections of itself, and the recommendations of the report, make it clear that there will be no necessity for electronic counting in elections, either for this Parliament or for the Scottish Parliament.
...In my statement in response to the report, I made it clear that we do not anticipate using electronic counting again in parliamentary elections for which we have responsibility.


2007-10-24 - The Guardian - Voters treated as afterthought in ballot fiasco, says inquiry
Author: Severin Carrell
Summary: A series of reforms to voting which caused chaos in the Scottish elections in May are to be scrapped after an independent inquiry accused political parties of nakedly "partisan" self-interest when they introduced the new measures. ... In the Commons, Mr Browne agreed it was a mistake to hold polls for both the Scottish parliament and every Scottish council on the same night while also introducing electronic counting, a complex new voting system for councils and a new ballot paper for the parliament ... He accepted that the two elections needed to be "de-coupled" and held on separate days, and that separate papers for the regional lists and constituency votes in the Scottish parliament election should be reinstated - a measure which meant electronic counting of parliamentary ballot papers could then be abandoned.