Friday, March 30, 2007

IT glitch 'could hit elections'

Listening to the radio on the way back from Milton Keynes on Wednesday I heard this story about problems with the software that reads signatures on postal ballots. Given the periodic obsession of this blogger with evoting it won't be news to regular readers to hear I wasn't particularly surprised by the story. Leaving aside the general security problems with postal voting, the thing that jumped out at me from the story was the standard line from the central government spokesman - 'we have spent a lot of money on this, the vendors have assured us that the technology will work, now get on with it and stop moaning.' The local government spokesman intereviewed on the radio had two complaints. Firstly the technology doesn't work and secondly that because the technology doesn't work they'd have to get more people in to check the signatures manually. Well, as Roger Needham used to say, automation is about replacing something which works with something faster which doesn't quite work.

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