back to article Software snafu let EU citizens get referendum vote, says Electoral Commission

A software snag was behind a number of EU citizens in Britain being sent polling cards for the EU referendum later this month – even though they aren't eligible to vote in it. Political blog Guido Fawkes reported yesterday that EU citizens had wrongly been sent polling cards. The Electoral Commission blamed “an issue with …

Anonymous Coward

"We need to get the EE-YOU out of our sovereigny init." - Average Brit

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Anonymous Coward

In my experience, the Average Brit thinks a little bit more about it than you suggest, and speaks better - you Average Twat.

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Anonymous Coward

How sure are you that they're actually average?

The media love to do vox populi interviews. Even when there isn't two opposing sides to an argument, they like to create one for 'false balance', and its worrying how easy they find complete loons just wandering about.

"We should remain in the EU, because I don't want no roam'n charges on my fone when I go to Ibeefa. Init".

"We should leave the EU, because foreigners smell of curry and I hate regulations. Init".

Face it, the average citizen IS retarded, and this is the level of debate in this country. We'd have been better off flipping a coin for the referendum.

This needs at least second-order (meta) analysis. The establishment have hedged their bets, so whichever way you vote, we lose and they'll make out like bandits.

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Unfortunately, the average citizen will be average, and therefore will be smarter than nearly half the population... that's very worrying indeed :D

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AH politics, there can only be two sides... Seems idiotic that in something as important as this, there isn't a third option of "stay in the EU, but only if these specific issues are fixed". The EU is broken, but not irreparable and both the options of just leaving, or staying without charge are both terrible options.

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@crazy ops guy

The EU could be repaired if they ever actually listened to us. But they never have before, why change the habit of a lifetime?

Mrs Thatcher descibes an EU summit in her memoirs, where one day after lunch all the other leaders had disappeared. She tracked them down and they were all very embarrassed when she burst into the room.

The reason the EU has stopped them fighting each other is that they are all conspiring against us.

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Stop

damn

I would have loved to vote GB out.... if GB stays, it'll be the same or worse PITA than it is now already.

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g e

Re: damn

I do wonder that if EU nations were given a referendum on whether or not to kick UK out...

We're like the dirty little cultureless Americanised blot on the backside of of a bunch of otherwise quite interesting nations. Can't say I'd blame them for voting 'Punt-UK', personally, if given the chance.

Shame, really, we used to be quite good here once upon a time.

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Joke

Re: damn

well that would sway the vote, if we knew they wanted us out then we would vote stay.

Or do they think that we know that they want us to stay to make us think that we want out but they really want us in so that we vote out !>" oh dear .....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: damn

Those damn French and their reverse psychology.

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Silver badge

Re: damn

UK Vote on In/Out might be:

French: Some Out, Some In

Polish, Irish, Germans: Mostly In

Not sure about Danes and Swedish.

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Flame

Re: damn

Quote :" We're like the dirty little cultureless Americanised blot on the backside of of a bunch of otherwise quite interesting nations. Can't say I'd blame them for voting 'Punt-UK', personally, if given the chance."

Speak for yourself, I actually like this country thank you....

We may not have the manufacturing of Germany or be stuck up like the french or even the design flair of the Italians.. but we have just as much art, and history and culture as the rest of europe.

Even if we seem to elect complete and utter arseholes as leaders all the time

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Re: damn

Even if we seem to elect complete and utter arseholes as leaders all the time

We don't elect a leader at all. We elect MPs, and the Queen invites one of them to be her prime minister. It's purely custom that says she will usually ask the leader of the largest party, there's no need for the PM to even be an elected representative.

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Holmes

Re: damn

"I do wonder that if EU nations were given a referendum on whether or not to kick UK out..."

Why not? Of all of the nations of our blue planet, the Dutch people alone were given the vote in a referendum on future EU membership of the Eukraine (excet for the free Crimea and New Russia territories:-).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: damn

We may not have the manufacturing of Germany or be stuck up like the french or even the design flair of the Italians.. but we have just as much art, and history and culture as the rest of europe.

Certainly. It would have been surprising if centuries of enthusiastic looting and pillaging across half of the globe would not have left you with some interesting trinkets here and there.

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Re: damn

Shame you never seem to remember that when the Germans are crushing you under their heels, then its ok where are the Brits and the yanks to save us. To think our forefathers died for scum like you!

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Re: damn

You like our money enough though!

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Re: damn

@Phil...

In 1963 after MacMillan resigned she invited Lord Home (pronounced Hume) to be PM. From the House of Lords, not the Commons.

For practical purposes she has to invite someone who can get laws through parliament, especially tax laws.

H in his memoirs described going into hospital for a spinal operation. Afterwards he congratulated the surgeon for putting backbone into a politician.

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Silver badge

Re: damn

"For practical purposes she has to invite someone who can get laws through parliament, especially tax laws."

Perhaps it would be better if the PM were someone who could not get laws through parliament, especially tax laws.

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Re: damn

"It's purely custom that says she will usually ask the leader of the largest party, there's no need for the PM to even be an elected representative."

These are, however, the most practical options. Even if the PM were directly elected you'd still get a politician.

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Re: damn

"I do wonder that if EU nations were given a referendum on whether or not to kick UK out."

Why should they? We weren't given that chance in the Scottish referendum?

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Re: damn

"the Dutch people alone were given the vote in a referendum on future EU membership of the Eukraine"

I think this is the problem with the EU. There have been several updates to the treaty arrangements. Presentation for popular voting on these has been sporadic. When the Irish voted against the Lisbon treaty they were told to vote again until they came up with the right answer.

Each of the treaties should have required approval by an EU-side vote. That would have limited the politicians and officials to options which could command majorities, it would have encouraged them to keep in touch with the populus to determine what would and wouldn't fly and to explain what and why they were presenting for approval. For the officials requiring informed consent might have been a useful discipline.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: damn

"dirty little cultureless Americanised blot"

I lived in England for a number of years, attended school there and held a special affection for the country and for the "special relationship" between our two countries.

Now, not so much. Culture and GB haven't been on speaking terms for quite some time.

Just another police state lacking the redeeming grace of German efficiency.

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Ogi

Re: damn

"Just another police state lacking the redeeming grace of German efficiency."

Quite frankly, if I have to live in a police state, I would rather it be in an inefficient and incompetent one. So +1 vote for the UK there from me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: damn

You've got a point. And much as the engineer in me rebels at championing any form of inefficiency:

"Just another police state but with the redeeming grace of a non-Germanic inefficiency."

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Ogi

Re: damn

"You've got a point. And much as the engineer in me rebels at championing any form of inefficiency:"

Depends on the way you see it. A totally inefficient police state is an efficient free state, no? :-)

History has an excellent example of how efficient the German police state can be (and in general, it took the combined forces of the world to stop them), and I would rather not have that again.

So, a state and its government should be as inefficient and incompetent as can be, otherwise everyone suffers. It is a bit illogical, but when dealing with humans, that is not uncommon.

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Re: damn

You mean dupliate the situation in the USA where Pres Obama (Dem) can't get the bills passed because the republicans control both the house and the senate?

8 years of virtual political deadlock.

And you want that?

Please god no. It would be like a Government having no overall majority and forever facing votes of no confidence.

{Posted while travelling in Oregon.}

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Re: damn

Fuckwit.

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Re: damn

Another fuckwit.

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Re: damn

The fuckwits really are out today...

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Vic

Re: damn

8 years of virtual political deadlock.

And you want that?

Political deadlock, against Theresa May getting her way?

I'll go for the deadlock, thanks.

Vic.

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Black Helicopters

*Cough* FIX!! *Cough*

That is all.

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Re: *Cough* FIX!! *Cough*

I have this odd feeling that if by some weird chance the people voted to leave the EU then this would trigger some previously unrevealed "Hotel California" clause in the membership terms.

I don't have a TV so I miss out on a lot of the political spin, but when we have foreign national leaders such as President Obama coming over and instructing us on how to vote then my mental alarm bells go off full blast.

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Facepalm

Requirements, we've heard of them...

It was a glitch where if you type in the nationality it wasn't recognised so the correct marker wasn't attached [to the voter's record on the system]. It was just an entry not being recognised properly.

Freeform text field for nationality... what could possibly go wrong...?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Requirements, we've heard of them...

In other words. If you believe that I have a bridge that you should be interested in buying.

The problem is they are not telling us the real reason.

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Silver badge

Re: Requirements, we've heard of them...

The problem is they are not telling us the real reason.

Easy: the reason is that system was written by newly minted, hence cheap, code-monkeys led by the PHB who designed it. And his boss was an MBA who decided that system testing was an expensive way to reduce productivity. Since this would look bad on his CV he declared it unnecessary.

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Error?

"The Electoral Commission said it is working on identifying how many EU citizens have wrongly been issued polling cards allowing them to vote"

They didn't say or shouldn't have said that. The polling card does not allow you to vote. I'd say it invites you to vote, but, as explained, you may be not entitled to, and the card doesn't prove that you can.

Maybe you could apply for quick British citizenship if you do want the right to vote, but that isn't easy to get if you don't have it, unless you are rich.

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Re: Error?

Notice the priority is on counting, not on ensuring only eligible people can vote.

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If they saw "men who live as dogs" in the Graun ...

In case you missed it (warning, not for the faint of heart) -

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/may/25/secret-life-of-the-human-pups-the-men-who-live-as-dogs

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Silver badge

Re: If they saw "men who live as dogs" in the Graun ...

I just read the article. Not quite as terrifying as The Clangers, probably closer to Bagpuss. I didn't see the connection to the EU referendum.

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“an issue with elections software”

The issue is that the software was badly specced by interested parties, outsourced to cowboy developers through relations and written one-handed in a weekend without any quality control or oversight.

For me to trust any "election" software, I want the entire project to be managed like open-source. I want the specifications to be public, I want the code to be public, and I want millions of eyes on it to ensure that there is no error in processing, security or confidentiality.

Unless I can personally see what has been approved to count my vote, you might as well have it developed in a dungeon by a group of trolls, that is how I will trust it.

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Anonymous Coward

Source?

Is the source code available, so others can vet it ahead of time as well?

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Silver badge

Re: Source?

It's a paper vote with human counters. The only software involved is the stuff managing the electoral roles, the same software they've been using for a while now. Most likely what happened is some country changed it's name, or similar and someone forget to update the s/w.

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Anonymous Coward

I paid my taxes, my partner and children are British ...

... and hate to listen to (some) Brits who belittle this country.

Why can't I vote?

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Re: I paid my taxes, my partner and children are British ...

'cos you're not a British citizen? To vote in a British national election you have to be a British citizen. (or, for increasingly unsustainable historic reasons, an Irish or Commonwealth citizen).

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Thumb Down

Re: I paid my taxes, my partner and children are British ...

Well to a point... You need to be both British and have been on the electoral register in the last fifteen years. Which is quite a neat way of disenfranchising British citizens who have taken advantage of the freedom of movement that the EU encourages.

Apparently there are around three million of us in the non-British parts of Europe. Which could have made a difference if the result was close. Someone clearly considered this quite carefully when drafting the rules for the referendum.

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Re: I paid my taxes, my partner and children are British ...

Because you're not British?

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Other countries' referendum

Don't be so sure about most Germans, French, Italians, Austrians (as yours humly) would vote Bremain - there is a lot of cherry picking with the EU going on right now, and Britain might be a good example to make. This includes making as few concessions as possible in the negotiations after the Brexit - make sure, everybody understands, that leaving the EU is ... ahem ... leaving it. Not sort of keeping the good stuff while getting rid of the bad.

Actually, I'd be quite pleased if a referendum in a member country would automatically trigger a referendum in all others as well: Only if both vote for the status quo, it would remain in effect.

My money is on Brexit - and quite a healthy dose of spanking for the UK economy following it.

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Anti-competitive?

I think I'm agreement.

Actually I think the following years will look something like this:

1) Brexit

2) Gove attempts to negotiate terms with EU - they refuse until he intiates the exit agreement.

3) Economy tanks while government pontificates. Unemployment rises.

4) Finally we trigger leave clause and try and start negotiations in earnest - Poland demands freedom of movement or no deal. Spain demands access to fishing waters or no deal. France just shouts NON! Germany tries to compromise but nobody wants to.

5) Pound drops to below $1.20 - Petrol is back over £1.50 litre and further rises likely.

6) Trade deal attempted with USA - they say wait until we've sorted TTIP out.

7) Trade deal attempted with China - they offer us the same terms as Switzerland, i.e. no change on their end for 15 years, but we drop all tariffs immediately.

8) Immigration from the EU has reversed - many workers are going home. Tax revenues have dropped massively. Record budget deficit recorded. Pound loses it's triple A status. Interest rates on UK debt start to rise. Government announces new wave of austerity, including cuts to pensions. Talk of charging for doctor appointments and routine operations.

Move on 5 years and things have changed a lot. Immigration from outside the EU has been allowed to rocket as low paid workers needed throughout the economy. Everywhere signs that used to read in Polish and Czech are being replaced with Arabic and Hindi. We ended up joining EFTA and giving the EU everything they demanded - we had no choice. We've been unable to make deals with anyone else of worth - the USA has gone the other way and raised tariffs on UK imports as Trump has triggered a new era of USA nationalism and protectionism. New poll indicates that 75% think we should never have left the EU.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anti-competitive?

England's is the second largest economy in the EU.

I imagine, when the things come down to the wire, that the EU will take that in to account. Any adverse effects will not just be felt by England.

It appears to me, regardless of what England does, that we are watching the EU beginning to implode.

A Brexit may turn out to have been moot in the end.

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