November 18, 2015 - 4:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - There is an absence of accountability in both our election and referendum voting systems and the only way to ensure accuracy is to count ballots by hand, a Kamloops councillor is arguing.
Coun. Denis Walsh let his fellow council members know yesterday, Nov. 18, he will be asking them to support the idea of post-election audits. Walsh argues no voting system is perfect. Electronic voting machines are susceptible to computer problems like 'crashes, bugs, mysterious malfunctions, data tampering and even computer viruses.'
Walsh says electronic voting machines are entrusted to carry out the democratic process and since computers can’t always be trusted, audits are critical. He believes it’s important to assure the computers used to count ballots 'behaved correctly.'
Walsh says an audit should take place after all votes are counted and initial results are made public. He suggests a minimum of four polling stations should be randomly selected as a sample population. As an audit should be visible and transparent to the public, he suggest the city publish the audit results, including how discrepancies were addressed.
The councillor says a post-election audit count is necessary to verify the election outcome and reduce the need for recounts, find errors, deter fraud, point out spots for improvement and provide public confidence in election outcomes.
He also explains a post-election audit is one of the least costly elements of an election or referendum. Walsh believes a recount would only cost roughly $.05 to $.10 per ballot.
The councillor was a vocal opponent of the cost of the performing arts centre referendum. Walsh debated everything from the cost of advertising, the amount of polling stations and cost of electronic voting. In council, June 16, Walsh was told it could take an additional week after the referendum to hand count ballots.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015