back to article Australia's Electoral Commission won't release vote-counting code

Following the shambolic Western Australian Senate election, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has turned down a citizen's FOI request to look at the software it uses to count Senate votes. The decision, published yesterday at, was in response to a request made by Michael Cordover. Cordover had asked …


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  1. Big-nosed Pengie

    WTF??? This isn't open source?

    Massive fail!

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Open Source

      Because that is not the way government departments work. There has to be a chain of accountability that each drone can point to in order to avoid the possibility of being held responsible - especially if something goes wrong. Open source is a cancer of initiative, enthusiasm and achievement in a torrid soup of shared ideals. Such a system has no place in public life where compulsion, theft and self aggrandisement is more the norm.

  2. bep


    "Three million three hundred and fifty thousond three hundred and one; three million three hundred and fifty thousand three hundred and two, three million three hundred and fifty thousand three hundred and three."

    "Cup ot tea George?"

    "Lovely, white and one please!"

    "Um, um...bugger!, two, three..."

    1. Gray Ham
      Thumb Up

      Re: Easycount

      You remember that? S**t, you're as old as me!

  3. Mike 29


    Is it EasyCode or EasyCount?

  4. Denarius

    government competitors

    not new. I have seen sites where the internet was trusted more than another government department network connection. Fortunately some smaller departments are sane, but it wont matter. Conservative governments like to sell public intellectual property cheaply (yes they did have some decent stuff) to their corporate donors. Just ask the mentor of the current PM how it's done. And worship with Aynn Rands religion once more {S}

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Improvement over what they had.

    Back in the early 90's they weren't allowed to use computers and had to do it by hand. They did have a dBase IV programme written by a self taught staffer which they ran in parallel to check the count. The guy had got around the issue of partial and expired votes by making them candidates and assigning the votes to them. I remember they relied on it for an ATSIC election which had no bar on using computers and because they had a high number of candidates and a low number of voters the partial and expired votes started getting elected

  6. Pu02

    WTF are these guys up to, keeping state secrets?

    With the AEC's reputation on the line over that stuff up in the WA count, you'd think the small amount of IP they'd lose would be worth the publicity they'd get from some 'peer review' of the code.

    Unless of course, the code was poorly written...

    I can just hear the bureaucrats quip: "That damned public has no right to know anyhow..."

    Just more of the same old "keep the public from the information", unless they are keeping the lid on rampant corruption!

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