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Things to fix in ACT elections

By PantsMan 23 October 2012 44

Here are a few of my gripes about ACT elections.

Firstly, the whole ‘caretaker period’ concept is a joke. In Westminster democracies, the idea is that, when the Legislature is dissolved before an election, it can no longer hold the Executive to account in Parliament and the government must enter caretaker mode. However, in the ACT they get about two weeks of “government” after the Assembly is dissolved to do whatever they want. The caretaker conventions should be amended to put the government into caretaker at the end of the last sitting day of the Assembly.

The stupid Hare-Clark system that was entrenched as a virtual constitutional amendment in 1995. Now we can only get rid of it with another referendum.

Four year terms and the almost inability to have elections before that time. The Electoral Act only allows elections before four year in four circumstances: (1) when the Governor-General dissolves the Assembly; (2) when the Chief Minister is booted out and not one else is appointed for 30 days; (3) when no one stands for election, and; (4) when a new election is required by the court of disputed returns. We’ll probably have the worst four years of government ever seen, however, there will be virtually nothing anyone can do about it.

Stupid rules like the 100 metre ban on handing out electoral material. Aside from the typical ACT “ban” response to anything that might ever happen that might be bad, it basically leaves electors with even less information about who on earth they should vote for.

The election costing laws. In the Commonwealth, the Treasurer must say that the government has announced all agreed policies before the pre-election update is done, however in the ACT, Katy and Co. spent the election campaign saying “This is money we committed before the election. We are now just allocating and announcing it.” I presume Zed was not told how much he could have “allocated and announced”.

An electronic voting system from 1985, and an Electoral Commissioner who does not appear to be too on top of the actual rules and laws about voting or party registrations.

What’s Your opinion?


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Things to fix in ACT elections
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maxblues 1:04 pm 07 Nov 12

HenryBG said :

housebound said :

Agree 100%. At least with a paper vote, you know the parties’ scrutineers are looking over the shoulders of AEC staff, reducing the potential for fraud.

I would like to see a statistical comparison of the electronic votes with the paper votes cast at the same time (eg booth by booth or just prepoll and on-the-day).

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1680451,00.html

“After the initial excitement, it didn’t take long for voters to lose trust in the new system, as they increasingly deemed DRE too complex, unreliable and insecure; the only thing worse than a confusing paper trail, it turned out, was no paper trail at all. (It didn’t help that the main touch-screen machine supplier, Diebold, was widely accused in 2004 of ties to the Republican Party.) Fifteen Florida counties adopted touch-screen as well, and they learned the pitfalls of it the hard way, dealing with controversies like a 2006 congressional race in the Sarasota district, where an astonishing 15% of the ballots cast registered no choice at all — in a race that was decided by a razor-thin margin of 386 votes.”

And that’s a very conservative commentary from Time – other websites will be far less complimentary about the dodgy firm that produced these fraudulent machines.

Voting is like wiping your arse, using paper is best, electronically gets messy.

bainbridge 12:09 pm 07 Nov 12

p996911turbo said :

I do agree that the electronic voting system was a bit crap. A number pad as directional arrows is just pathetic.

I thought I’d dig this thread up in light of the current electronic voting controversy in the US at the moment. There is a reason you keep your voting machines really simple; you can test every component and be sure that it works! When you start putting touch screens on the damn things you’re just asking for trouble.

HenryBG 6:49 pm 25 Oct 12

housebound said :

Agree 100%. At least with a paper vote, you know the parties’ scrutineers are looking over the shoulders of AEC staff, reducing the potential for fraud.

I would like to see a statistical comparison of the electronic votes with the paper votes cast at the same time (eg booth by booth or just prepoll and on-the-day).

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1680451,00.html

“After the initial excitement, it didn’t take long for voters to lose trust in the new system, as they increasingly deemed DRE too complex, unreliable and insecure; the only thing worse than a confusing paper trail, it turned out, was no paper trail at all. (It didn’t help that the main touch-screen machine supplier, Diebold, was widely accused in 2004 of ties to the Republican Party.) Fifteen Florida counties adopted touch-screen as well, and they learned the pitfalls of it the hard way, dealing with controversies like a 2006 congressional race in the Sarasota district, where an astonishing 15% of the ballots cast registered no choice at all — in a race that was decided by a razor-thin margin of 386 votes.”

And that’s a very conservative commentary from Time – other websites will be far less complimentary about the dodgy firm that produced these fraudulent machines.

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