It’s no secret I am not a fan of the current electoral commission. In fact, I hate the way it was established and can only regret not having returned soon enough to the Kingdom to influence the drafting of it’s “constitution”.
We recently completed the 3rd electoral review from the electoral commission and between you and I, sitting on that commission is probably just as stimulating as watching paint dry.
There is a limited amount of time that a sane human being can spend reviewing such hard data with full attention on.
Ideally, the electoral commission would work in the shadows, slowly, taking it’s time to ensure that democracy was fully preserved from the only person able to corrupt the process (and who, ironically, it’s the only person fixed to be on it, go figure the logic of that!).
Well, after 3 rounds, I can say that I do see the logic, because for every election, there was on average (if not exactly) 3 ballots with errors, usually 1 transcription error, 1 legal error and 1 validation error.
Let me explain, so it can be clear what I am talking about,
A transcription error occurs when the Secretary of State makes an error entering a vote, such as putting Per on a referendum instead of Abstain.
A legal error occurs when the Secretary of State accepts a vote blindly which wasn’t 100% clear, such a counting a “whatever” referendum vote as an Abstain or a accepting a “PRESENT” vote from a 13 year old voter.
Finally, a validation error occurs when the automatic data required for the validation was corrupted, like an email record of a vote which was truncated after only 10 of the 12 referendum votes.
It is very important to catch all of these errors, and within 48 hours of the closing of all 3 elections, the Electoral commission had successfully tagged them and found the various ways to fix them.
In all cases, none of these errors affected in any way the results of the election.
So, what is the problem? The problem is that the electoral commission has a very narrow window to work and all legislative work is halted until the commission is unanimous in declaring the results final and it is that final approval which this year, took almost 2 weeks as one of the members started late while another was partially unavailable.
To me, the solution is quite simple. We create an ex post facto electoral commission, as follows:
- Once the election is completed, the Secretary of State is required to personally validate all of the votes to make sure he didn’t make any errors, giving him the leeway to correct any mistakes. He can start during the election of course.
- Once his validation is completed, he alone certifies the results of the election like it was the case prior to the secret ballot.
- The King is then able to nominate a prime-minister, who can in turn name his cabinet, who can, in turn, start working on their priorities
- The parties can start assigning Cosa seats, which allows new Cosa Members to post bills in the Hopper well in advance of the deadline
- The Kingdom is thus able to work, like it always did after an election
- Meanwhile, the Electoral commission is composed. The Secretary of State already did his validation, so in theory, the work of the Electoral commission should be simpler since the Secretary of State always did a first pass
- If an error is found, the Electoral commission may, upon a unanimous decision, retroactively adjust the results of the election. This may change the number of seats in the Cosa or a Senate election, but at least, the show could go on.
This isn’t unprecedented. In the USA, elections occur in November but take effect in January so there is plenty of time to review the elections. In Canada however, new MPs, city councilors or mayors are in place the morning after the election and if a judicial review changes the results, we just deal with it and change who was elected.
I feel like such a change would keep our ballots fully secured while removing the pressure on the electoral commission to act as fast a possible, enabling us to do what we are supposed to do: fully debate and review each individual vote to ensure the democratic process was fully respected.