Monday, 27 November 2006

2007 eVoting Pilots - Funding clarification

Just a quick post to clarify how the May 2007 eVoting pilots are being funding. They are not (as has been noted by a number of talking heads) being funded by the Local Authorities themselves, but rather by funds set aside by the Treasury for the DCA to use for the pilots. So don't worry, your Council Tax isn't being used to fund these wild and fanciful ideas that arrogant technologists such as yours truly think might be a good idea.


Jason Kitcat said...

This is not true. Page 6 of the 2007 Pilots Prospectus is clear.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs has money from the Treasury specifically for funding e-voting/e-counting which may pay for the suppliers but the rest will come from local authorities. This means your council will need to pay for marketing (which previous central gov paid for) and will need to pay for the considerable time their staff spend on these pilots.

I quote:
"As in previous years, the Government will consider providing funding, in addition to
the local authority’s existing election funding, for pilots that test an electronic element [...] Whilst Government may fund electronic elements of ‘administrative’ pilots such early
voting with the use of electronic registers, it cannot fund other elements of pilots such as
accommodation and publicity for early voting. We have monies allocated specifically by the
Treasury for the purpose of piloting e-voting and other electronic developments and these
cannot be allocated elsewhere."

Daniel Gray said...

Nice to hear from you again Jason. Whilst I concede that some costs are being met by the Local Authorities the cost of marketing in previous pilots has been about 1% of the total. And staffing costs, having spoken with electoral officials are not significantly higher for a pilot than for a paper ballot. The total is only going to run to about 5% of the total cost (and much of this cost would be present for a paper ballot anyway), so I really think you're clutching at straws here Jason. Would be interested to here your response to some of my other posts, particularly re: the dangers of sunspots!