Jun 1, 2012

Fighting Election Fraud - A Challenge for Quality in Governent - ASQ Influential Voice from Australia

The May 2012 theme for the ASQ Influential Voices program was Quality in Government - with ASQ's CEO Paul Borawski basically challenging whether it is possible.

I had decided to explore Citizen Perceptions of Election Integrity & Fraud issues as an aspect of Quality in Government processes. My fellow members of ASQ's Global Influential Voices for Quality program had explored Health, Education, Defense & also Quality in Government in their own Countries

Over the last few years I had seen many items in the ASQ Daily News RSS feeds reporting problems with election voting machines. And of course I had read Mike Moore's thoughts on past USA Presidential Elections & voting problems. In Australia there has been a push for E-voting and I have had concerns which were driven by what I had read in my ASQ feeds ie that there were problems that must be addressed to ensure the integrity of e-voting.

Coincidentally ISO, the International Organisation for Standardization had embarked on a project on developing an ISO International Standard on Electoral Assurance. Basically this was about applying ISO 9001 to Electoral systems. It is being managed by ISO's TC 176 under Working Group WG. No.3 and I am one of Australia's representatives on this WG.

As a keen fan of Twitter for monitoring trends & using the Hootsuite Dashboard Application, I set up a search on "Election Fraud" on May 9 2012 Australian Eastern Standard Time to capture Citizen Perceptions of Election Fraud. I didn't capture all the tweets - there was just an unbelievable number of them flooding into Twitter from across the Globe, from every continent - except Antarctica of course.

To be honest I was pleased to see not too many mentions from Australia and I hoped that this was a positive indication of confidence in our electoral processes and state/federal (Twitter)electoral commissions, for whom I have the utmost regard.  I had been a local government city councillor candidate (and a successful one too !) under the NSW Electoral Commission in my state in 1995 & 1999, where I saw little evidence if no real evidence of election fraud. Interesting campaign tactics at times, as one expects in elections, but no real fraud. (ps - here's the website for the upcoming local government elections being run by our NSW Electoral Commission - plus scan of postcard mailed to all Australian addresses first week in June 2012 advising them that Voter Registration in Australia in Compulsory)

Anyway my aim was to collect the tweets of citizen perception of  electoral fraud that seemed to have integrity & genuine basis, rather than people just letting off steam because their preferred candidate was unsuccessful. I also endeavoured to filter out the echo chamber of retweets that are an inevitable part of the Twitterverse - but hey that's part of the democratic processes in the social media era.

So here is the link to my distillation of tweeting from around the globe of citizen perceptions of Election Fraud. The sheer volume of Election Fraud related tweets is astonishing over a period of about 3 weeks.

Clearly it is important that ISO proceed with its proposed standard on Electoral Assurance. But I suspect that it will require far more than the creation of this standard to sort out the problems of electoral fraud as perceived by citizens across the globe. A total cultural attitudinal revolution will be needed internationally to respect democratic processes & outcomes if we are to achieve the goal of Electoral Assurance.

To me this is one big challenge for achieving Quality in Government across the Globe.


More on Citizen Perceptions of Voting Fraud : From June 1 2012

Other Links on Electoral-Voting Concerns (mainly via ASQ)

Other Stories on Election Voting Technology Issues from ASQ Quality News Today - available by logging into Members Only Area of ASQ 
  • Major Setback for Philippine Voting System
  • Voting Glitch in Memphis affects up to 5000
  • Audit Ensures Voting Machines' Totals Add Up
  • Election Suit Details Substantial Errors
  • Election Official Strive to Regain Trust
  • Groups Probe Election Error in South Carolina
  • Human Error Cited in Ballot Glitch
  • Officials Ask for Voting-Machine Security
  • Unregistered Votes Reach the Polls
  • Voting Machines Outlive Their Usefulness
  • S.C. Audit Finds Errors in Voting System
  • Voting Machine Incident Makes Waves
  • Answers Sought in Election Gaffe
  • State, Firm Split Blame for Election Gaffe
  • Clerk Steps Aside After Another Election Snaffu
  • Election Results Waylaid by Faulty Database

1 comment:

curiouscat said...

It is sad how unconcerned those in the USA have been about using voting processes that have been shown to be hackable or poor at providing accurate counts. You would think doing this correctly would be important but many in charge of the voting process have been waiting to see if anyone cares. So basically they just wait until something like the Florida debacle happens (to them) and then react instead of building in quality. Sad.