Saturday, November 25, 2006

Election-rigging in Italy

Oh dear. Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, already on trial for fraud and corruption, is now facing another investigation over claims he tried to rig this years Italian election. A left-wing magazine is distributing a documentary DVD claiming that Berlusconi's party had software surreptitiously installed on electronic vote tabulators to flip spoiled ballots into support for Berlusconi. As a result, the number of blank ballots, which has been consistent at around 1.5 million in past elections - declined by two thirds, and Berlusconi almost got another term.

If confirmed, I'd hope that this will result in long jail terms for those involved. Unless of course Berlusconi included election fraud in his last minute law changes to avoid prosecution...


Last minute law changes to avoid prosecution, eh? The bastard ...

Why, there's nothing worse than politicians passing retroactive legislation to kill legal action, wouldn't you say?

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 11/25/2006 06:04:00 PM

heh... "the law on what happens to unclear ballots was 'unclear'"

Posted by Genius : 11/25/2006 11:08:00 PM

Electronic voting has appeared on a labour party proposal for introduction into New Zealand. If this were to come about we should insist on using open source software so that the results are open to full scrutiny. Having the source code locked up by proprietory software is scary as seen in the USA and now Italy. I think both sides of the house could agree on that surely.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 10:34:00 AM

Italy doesn't use electronic voting they still use paper ballots so this was not the situation.

The Italians have a custom where if you want to vote (there is high voter paticipation in Italy) but are disgusted with all of the candidates/parties then many Italians go along and don't select any of the candidates - but submit their blank ballot - as a vote of protest.

It is these votes that there has been a suggestion that may have been used in a possible corrupt manner as there was much fewer than in all the previous elections.

On election night there was a mess in the way votes came in from voting districts to the Minister of Justice - these were posted electronically and it is suggested that this feed may have been manipulated by reducing the number of blank votes by allocating them.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 05:48:00 AM