On electronic voting

Simon Mead writes: Re: “The problem with electronic voting” (yesterday). As a (Labor leaning) election scrutineer of long standing it is frustrating to realise how little is understood of the crucial counting process. There are, of course, many problems. But so very few of them would be overcome with “electronic voting”. It is an opaque process which also introduces exciting new 21st century problems, like software glitches and vote hacking.

Electronic counting though, that is an entirely different matter. And well worth considering. TAB and Lotto outlets have been translating hand written numbers into wins and losses very quickly and very successfully for many years. Clever little machines on the top of every ballot box would provide an instant count, while preserving pencil, paper and the capacity to manually check all the results — especially the close ones. This retains the best of our traditions while taking us one good step forward, which is innovative, agile and conservative. A heady mix sure to appeal to our Prime Minister.

David Thackrah writes: There we go again. Why is the media and thousands of others stuck on compulsory voting? No one has ever HAD to vote in Australia. Just turn up, get your name ticked off, and do something with the voting slips. The real issue is behaving “civically” in a responsible manner. If not, then maybe if you don’t get “ticked off” the roll any government benefits you enjoy, cease after 180 days out from the election ?

On greyhound racing bans

John Richardson writes: Re. “Left and right revel in the pointless cruelty of greyhound racing” (yesterday). In taking the stick to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley over his defence of the Greyhound Industry in NSW, Bernard Keane fulminates that “cruelty to animals is bad enough; cruelty with no point is even worse”. The lie of Foley’s contemptuous defence of the greyhound industry is made by his pretence that the entire problem is down to a few “bad apples”, while conveniently & cynically ignoring the 90,000 “disappeared” dogs not in the room. So Bernard, where does that leave cruelty to people with no point?

If the people of NSW can be outraged by the behaviour of some in the greyhound industry or their government’s attempt to eradicate its despicable activities, where is their rage over our country’s treatment of asylum-seekers: men, women & children locked-up & tortured in indefinite detention? Where’s the rage about that?

Peter Fray

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