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Vote supension 'disgrace'

  • Brian Taylor
  • 4 May 07, 04:44 AM

And so in Bishopbriggs they've suspended the count in Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

That is because the computer system cannot validate the votes that have been counted so far.

That adds to problems elsewhere.

This is, frankly, a disgrace.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 04:44 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • John Whyte wrote:

Did I hear it right - TWO THOUSAND spoiled ballots in Frank McAveety's seat?

  • 2.
  • At 04:48 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • John Thomson wrote:

This is an absolute embarrassment for Scottish democracy. The BBC has reported over the past few days the incredible international attention the Scottish elections have drawn, with observers of the electronic counting systems, journalists from all corners of the globe and many feet of column space in the world's newspapers.

And what to we give them to read over their breakfast?

Disaster, embarrassment, chaos, cancellations, heckling, 'computer problems' and a delayed result, that just keeps getting longer.

What a day to be proud of our nation...

  • 3.
  • At 04:48 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Niall wrote:

Over 2000 votes rejected in the poorest constituency in Scotland. Absolutely appalling. This election system has been an unmitigated disaster and an enquiry must be called. The system is failing the Scottish people.

  • 4.
  • At 04:50 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • john wrote:

Computers are also full of Gremlins in Edinburgh too. Mabey if they put another 50p in the meter things will warm up and start working again.

  • 5.
  • At 04:52 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Anna wrote:

Thank you for your commentary on television tonight - it's been a rare combination of humour and incisive comment - much enjoyed.

  • 6.
  • At 04:52 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Alan Russell wrote:

Hanging chads, anyone?

Makes me glad I registered for a postal vote. Oh... wait... nevermind.

  • 7.
  • At 04:57 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Gordon_J wrote:

Postal vote problems, counting machine problems, spoilt papers at unheartd of levels. This is making us look stupid.

I've just had an e-mail from a friend down south (who's on hightshift) asking why we are unable to run an election. As a country we look like a joke right now.

  • 8.
  • At 05:00 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I can only agree with you, Mr. Taylor.

My own constituency, Glasgow Shettleston, has now declared the largest amount of rejected ballots yet, of 2035 - that's 12.87% of the total vote, spoiled.

You have just made reference to this on air, which embarasses me as a resident of both my constituancy and of Scotland.

The inevitable enquiry into the matter will not wash clean the embarrassment and disgrace of this day, whatever the findings.

  • 9.
  • At 05:02 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Mike Kilpatrick wrote:

It's a scandal. I'm watching this in New Zealand, and it's an embarassment for Scotland. I think the electronic counting is bad enough - but the level of spoiled paper is beyond all comprehension. An independent enquiry is required.

  • 10.
  • At 05:03 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Gordon Miller wrote:

That's it Brian. Hammer them. I loved the red card.

This whole thing is a disaster for democracy. Call for the election to be scrapped.

The people of Scotland DEMAND a properly conducted election. Not this travesty.

  • 11.
  • At 05:11 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Anna Raffles wrote:

This is an utter farce. It strikes me as absurd to introduce two entirely new processes to an election - the STV vote for the council, and the electronic counting machines. Surely it would have been more prudent to have the council elections on a separate day, and use the machines solely for that?

It's an absolute disgrace, and I can only hope there is an exhaustive enquiry.

One thing that occurs to me is that we have a vastly improved turnout, and a huge proportion of those will not be counted. At a time when we are desperate to encourage people to engage with the political process, this will only serve to turn off yet more voters.

  • 12.
  • At 05:23 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • hoshie wrote:

I've read about the voting probs here on the BBC. Not good. With an election like this, Scotland should be renamed Florida!

  • 13.
  • At 05:24 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Gene wrote:

American watching the coverage via the internet - we can send experts from Florida to aid you in Scotland if so desired.

  • 14.
  • At 05:28 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Andy McLennan wrote:

Can we have a referendum on using DRS?

Clearly the OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) system in use is causing problems. We should go back to what works.

  • 15.
  • At 05:36 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

One of the very reasons I have left :-

If it isn't a pochle attempt then it is un-professionalism of the highest degree, and who ever is in charge of this mess should resign instantly.

Can't organise a wee count, yet want to run a country. I think not.

  • 16.
  • At 05:41 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Andrew Bissell wrote:

I am very concerned about the rejected ballots.

I worry that the rejected ballots are largely cases where a voter has not wanted to support any constituency first-past-the-post candidate and so has not placed an X on the right-hand side of the paper, but has only filled an X on the left-hand side of the paper.

This seems to me a perfectly reasonable choice. e.g. if I support a party (the greens or the SSP or Solidarity or Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party) that is ONLY fielding a list candidate I shouldn't be forced to support a constituency candidate from a party that I don't agree with.

BUT I fear that (contrary to natural justice) if I only marked an X on the left-hand side regional list my ballot will be considered spoiled.

If so then the smaller parties that only fielded candidates in the regional lists have been duped. And the electors who supported them have been duped. And therefore there is serious doubt about the fairness of this election with the smaller parties potentially seriously under-represented.

If this proves to be the case then electors who know they have been dienfranchised and the list-only parties SHOULD legally challenge this election.

Andrew Overy concerned)

PS As a Computer Scientist I have grave reservations about votes being tallied in a central centre. Its bad enough that software which could be deliberately corrupted is involved at all. I have never felt so unsure about the trust factor in a UK election.

  • 17.
  • At 06:25 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Kevin Doyle wrote:

Perhaps Scotland isn't quite ready for that self-government referendum in 2010 after all? Shouldn't a country be able to elect a government properly before taking the next step of actually trying to govern?

  • 18.
  • At 06:33 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • robert wrote:

Did I hear correctly?
In Aberdeen Central , Sally Magnusson said that of the 2,700 rejected ballots , 2,000 were ALLOWED THROUGH on appeal.

A shambles.

  • 19.
  • At 07:16 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • David Sutcliffe wrote:

All results so far should be declared null and void followed by proper manual counting taking as long as is neccessary to restore some credibility. Scotland deserves better.

  • 20.
  • At 07:57 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Peter, Fife wrote:

Those damned computers again; I'm only glad computers don't control anything of significance.

  • 21.
  • At 08:18 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Mags wrote:

If it wasn't so serious it would be laughable! Was Para Handy bringing the ballot boxes from Arran!

  • 22.
  • At 10:14 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Malcolm wrote:

I see no reason to be embarrassed. The pieces of paper still exist, and they can still be counted, even if the computers can't do all of it. It's not a disgrace/shambles/disaster until that fails too.

  • 23.
  • At 08:19 PM on 04 May 2007,
  • David Drysdale wrote:

I presume DRS will walk away with a large profit and rub their hands with joy as they will, no doubt, make a killing on a re-run election!

  • 24.
  • At 10:46 PM on 06 May 2007,
  • John wrote:

The Scottish Executive (Labour and Liberals) along with the Scottish Office (Westminster MPs - Labour) dictated the set-up and running of the Scottish Elections. They were warned not to have the Parliament and Local Council Elections on the same day and compounded it by having three votes on only two separate sheets of paper and using two different systems. Typical of London and Scottish Labour MPs and MSPs that they ignored all of the experts and did what they wanted.

They got their just deserts.

I for one am glad that they are in second place as for the last 50 years they have run Scotland as their little fiefdom and have only really done things for the good of the party and not the people (except their own relatives).

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