uh oh – the e-voting part of the Mayoral election bothered me, but with such a close vote is it possible Boris Johnson didn’t win at all? This is the problem with e-voting systems, you cannot easily know as all the votes are counted inside a machine, and the company behind it Indra was involved with those trials last year which were far from perfect, total chaos in fact. And now the just released Open Righs Group report has given a ‘no confidence’ vote to the London elections.
However, transparency around the recording of valid votes was a major issue, leading many of our team of 27 official observers to conclude that they were unable to observe votes being counted. And while hundreds of screens set up by vote scanners showed almost meaningless data to observers, London Elects admit that the system was likely to be recording blank ballots as valid votes.
The report also details how London Elects are unable to publish an audit, commissioned from KPMG, of some of the software used to count the London vote, because of disputes over commercial confidentiality. The situation highlights the problems that arise when the very public function of running elections is mixed with issues of commercial confidentiality and proprietary software. In the context of a public election, it is unacceptable that these issues should preclude the publication of the KPMG audit.