Reports are coming in thick on NSW talk back radio with many people ringing in an complaint that they have lived at the same address for years and they were denied the right to vote.
Colin Barry, Victoria’s past Electoral Commissioner came under fire in an interview on NSW Talk back radio. Mr Barry’s Track record in conducting public elections is not the best. Mr Barry was Chief Commissioner in Victoria when the VEC introduced electronic counting of ballot papers. He was created at the time for not ensuring that the system that was put in place was subject to proper scrutiny.
Mr Barry refused to provide scrutineers copies of the preference data files used to determine the results of the election. Without access to this information it was impossible to verify the results of the electronic count. Mr Barry fallaciously claimed that the computer system used by the VEC could not produce copies of the preference data files.
It was only following a complaint to the State Parliament that the software in use by the VEC did not meet industry standards that Mr Barry all of a sudden realised that the software did in fact provide a means to extract this information. Copies of the preference data could be copied on to a diskette and take approximately 2 mins to copy.
There were a number of other issues of concern related to the Victorian electronic count system that was left wanting not the least the time and resources to undertake a computerised count of a single member electorate was significantly greater and less open and transparent then if the election was counted manually. Raising the question why were computers used to count the election results. Answer Boys with new toys.
Mr Barry resigned from Victoria and took up a position in the NSW State Government as NSW Electoral Commissioner.