Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tully's Tally Lacking Transparency

After much debate and numerous requests Steve Tully has responded indicating that he will be providing copies of the below the line data-files and a summary of votes required per polling place following the completion of  primary count.

Whilst this is welcomed it is nevertheless unsatisfactory as the information he has offered to provide is not the tabulation of the polling place returns that record the number of ballot papers printed,  issued and received back.  It is only a tabulation of what the VEC has recorded as being counted.

Providing copies of the below-the-line performance data-files at the end of the count limits opportunity for the scrutiny of the ballot. Copies of the below the line preference data should be progressively made available in real time or as a minimum every hour or when requested by scrutineers. By progressively publishing the data provides a means of ensuring that the data has not been altered or changed during the count by someone who has gained access to the database. Without this data scrutineers will have no point of reference or means of ensuring the integrity of the data-file. This information was readily available during the during the 2008 City of Melbourne Election, which begs the question "Why is the VEC refusing to do likewise during the State election were the stakes are much higher"

Steve Tully has an obligation to ensure that the conduct of the election is open and transparent. He must ensure that:
  1. The polling place returns outlining the number of ballot papers printed,  issued and returned are tabulated and published as a matter of course.
  2. Copies of the Below-the-line preference data files MUST be made available on request during the data-entry process and not just at its completion.  
  3. The reconciliation report that compares the polling place returns with the data data and results recorded in the VEC electronic database must also published prior to the completion of the preliminary count . 
Anything short of these requirements would continue to bring the VEC counting process into  disrepute and undermine public confidence in the validity of the election count.

Maintaining an open and transparent electoral system is fundamental to good governance and public confidence

Posted by: democracyATwork | 07/12/2010 8:12:39 PM

From: Steven Tully [mailto:Steve.Tully@vec.vic.gov.au]

Subject: RE: Information Request

All the information you request will be provided.

1.       The below the line data preference files will be available when provisional results are calculated for the upper house.

2.       The number of ballot papers in the count will be provided prior to the calculation of upper house results.

3.       The primary counts for each voting centre were on the VEC website on election night and the rechecked results have been added progressively as this process has continued.  I will provide you and all parties with both the primary and rechecked results by voting centre before the calculation of upper house results.


No comments:

Post a Comment