My letter to the Daily Telegraph: the cost of voting reform


You report the No 2 AV campaign as claiming that introducing the alternative vote will require the use of expensive counting machines (Telegraph, 15 February 2011). There is only one problem with this claim: it is untrue.

The alternative vote is used by many voluntary and civic organisations in the UK and for elections at different levels around the world without needing counting machines. Its close cousin, the supplementary vote, which also uses vote transfers, has also been used in cities around the UK without needing counting machines either. Moreover, the Electoral Commission has confirmed that it has no plans to demand the use of counting machines if there is a Yes vote in the referendum and neither does the legislation going through Parliament require counting machines.

Yours etc.

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