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ACT Election

Another day, another pre-voll vote, this time for the territory election. This will be on Saturday week and I'll be interstate.

Voting is by the Hare-Clark system. Here's the Elections ACT's attempt to explain this. We have three multi-member electorates. The names of candidates are grouped by party but their order is randomised. Upshot is that a candidate is as likely to lose to a member of her own party as to a candidate from another party. The most bizarre bit is down the bottom. Last year an MLA resigned to get treatment for cancer and they dug out the ballots from two years before and did a re-count! A candidate who had long since put it all behind her was suddenly informed that she'd been elected after all!

There's a bit of debate as to whether one should mark all the boxes or just the minimum number. The experts say that every preference counts and that you should number all 60 squares. This may determine if the Lyndon LaRouche candidate or the Christian Festival of Light one gets the last seat. The party line is just to vote for the seven Labor candidates. How-to-vote cards are illegal so they don't specify any order. But Katy Gallagher has been haunting the neighbourhood, and filling the mailboxes with nicely presented material.

I rocked up at Elections ACT and there was another surprise: electronic voting. I'm saying but but but what if the database crashes? What if a hacker gets in? I lost whole months of Customs data in the 1990s due to tapes being accidentally wiped. And what if there are bugs in the software? (Hard to imagine, know.) Apparently though, all of this has been considered. The system has been rigorously tested and audited. And patched. And it runs on a Linux box.

And then I thought, ah to Hell with it, it's just the stupid ACT election.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
7th Oct, 2004 20:09 (UTC)
New Britain landings
Hi,

If you are still working on the December 43 New Britain landings then I've come across a useful reference for you. The book is by John Browning titled "An artist at War". (Uni of North Texas Press). His Amhib Battalion (the 592nd) landed some 1400 1st Div marines at Green Beach near Tauali. His book has a great description of the landing and the aftermath based on his diary transcripts. Let me know if you can't get it and I'll photocopy the dozen or so relevant pages for you.

Phil Bradley (phillbrad@yahoo.com)
kerravonsen
8th Oct, 2004 13:43 (UTC)
Aieee! Not electronic voting! [insert Cthulu-type ravings here] Aiiie! The blood-red tide! The lack of audit trail! The cosmic rays! The crashes! Aiiee!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )