The Canberra Times reports that electronic scanning is going to count the vital preferences on our ballots.
Having spent more years than I care to think of working with the results of electronic scanning I wish I could say I share their faith in machine ability to accurately read hand-writing.
Remember this is a fall-back after they arsed up electronic voting, which has now been withdrawn despite no public admission of what went wrong.
And here’s one for the conspiracy theorists. Hand-writing recognition anyone?
“Ah wait,” I hear you cry, “If the hand-writing recognition can identify voters surely it can at least count the votes right?”
Well if it can only correctly identify 20% of voters it makes a lousy vote counting system but still a massive potential intrusion and of great interest to political number crunchers.
I’m sure this is not happening now. But I’m in no way keen on opening this tempting path.
Anything that can be done often seems to be done eventually.
We can wait a few days for our election results, and we can afford to pay people to enter the data.
UPDATE: Thanks to Jonathan Reynolds who has chased up the EC and confirmed that the electronic voting will be continued, but still in an extremely limited implementation.