There’s a strange smell in the air….2

pesci al sole.jpg

I'm writing about the electronic voting again because I'm worried. This is the worse thing that can happen to a comic. After the outcry last week, the Minister Pisanu took immediate action: he's bringing an action against Diario and he's going to set up a bi-party commission "to verify the electronic voting activity and the electronic transmission of data".
But why do we need a commission if it’s simply an experiment? What's the point if the paper count has precedence over the electronic one?
Today’s Diario says:
”While the two previous experiences were simply experiments, for the national elections in April we’ve taken another step forward giving legal value also to the electronic voting – this can be read in a communication of the Ministry of Innovation dated 10 February. The experiment – states a communication from the Ministry of the Interior on 24 March – will be carried on alongside the traditional paper-based operations which obviously will keep their pre-eminent legal validity.”
It’s the adverb “pre-eminent” that makes me think there’s a strange smell in the air.
Pre-eminent when, in what situation? If there is a dispute?

But we know very well what will happen if there is a dispute about the ballot in the four key regions Liguria, Lazio, Sardinia and Puglia with a total of 11 million votes. These are regions on a knife edge where just a few votes can decide which of the coalitions is going to win. What would happen is Chaos.
More from Diario: “For example, in Lazio, it would take just one extra vote for the opposing coalition to gain three places in the Senato because of the “prize” for having the majority in the region.”
And Diario also says:
”Bypassed Prefects have gone and with the Viminale {the headquarters of the Ministry of the interior} having less power, the election data for the 4 regions of Italy will be in the hands of the Ministry (without portfolio) of Innovation of Lucio Stanca, which in reality is a department in the office of the President of the Council. Thus: they will be in the hands of Silvio Berlusconi, who will communicate the information to the Viminale.”

This electronic voting smells. It has nothing at all to do with computing or with the Internet. A young person types the data into a computer and then checks the data with the President of the Polling Station. The operator then transfers the data to a USB device and puts it in his pocket and takes it somewhere else where there’s another computer, usually in a school, from here the data is sent by a Telecom Italia secure line to Rome.

But this is Palaeolithic stuff. It’s about Gianni and Pinotto; it’s about Stancosaurous and the little elephant.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 03:37 PM in | Comments (8)
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John William:
I know, it's crude but is the truth.
It's like the impact that somebody feels when staring at a Van Gogh's painting, smashingly evident in your face.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | April 4, 2006 04:00 AM


A concise but surprisingly accurate assessment of the situation I'd say :-)


Posted by: John William | April 3, 2006 03:29 PM

Whatever perfect solution will be available, the government will fuck it up anyway.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | April 2, 2006 11:16 PM


Posted by: ANGELO | April 2, 2006 05:41 PM

I would worry for the votes that will be counted more than for those that won't, if it's true that the wind has turned...

Computers are commonly used in many countries, among others in the United States and Canada. Irregularities in the 2000 presidential election were related to mechanical lever machines and voter registration lists. It's true that Diebold election systems did have glitches in Ohio and elsewhere. Yet in Italy we would always have the paper thingies, no?

Posted by: George Criollo | April 2, 2006 01:25 AM

I'm not against controls but it has to be a moment where to check what was checked and approuved before becomes ridiculous. I don't think italians are the best in organizing things, so, if they don't trust each others, they maybe can spare time to use what people more trustable than them did before.

Posted by: blisco jajo | April 2, 2006 01:16 AM

Well, but that doesn't mean that just because this system has been adopted elsewhere, it has to be considered infallible.
If there is a chance it could mess up the final result, then it should be checked out properly. It's common sense.

Posted by: Rosie Trenta | April 1, 2006 10:40 PM

I think that we will have to accept this electronic system one day or another in any case. Is maybe more comic for you to queue up but nobody is laughing to go to vote. I read, somwhere in this pages, that in Holland they already use computers to vote and it works very well. If in Italy fraude is more commun, it will be in any case.

Posted by: blisco jajo | April 1, 2006 06:12 PM

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