Auditors suggest manual ballot count following 2014 vote mix-up
PR dla Zagranicy
Head of the Supreme Audit Office (NIK), Krzysztof Kwiatkowski has said that preparations for the IT systems used to count votes for the upcoming presidential elections in May are not up to par.
Photo: PAP/Adam Warzawa
The announcement comes as NIK published a 50-page report following an audit on the National Election Office – part of the State Electoral Commission – which found a number of problems with the voting system.
“In our opinion […], preparations by the National Election Office for the IT infrastructure for the 2015 presidential elections are not sufficient,” Kwiatkowki said on Tuesday morning.
Kwiatkowski added that “NIK recommends that the presidential elections should not be undertaken with any dedicated IT support”, meaning essentially that the votes for the 10 May presidential ballot should be counted manually.
Meanwhile, later on Tuesday the State Electoral Commission agreed to NIK’s suggestions, although the head of the Commission, Wojciech Hermeliński, warned that a manual vote count would mean that the final results of the first round of the presidential election would be announced “on Tuesday evening at the earliest” following the Sunday vote.
“[The publication of results] may even be delayed until Wednesday or Thursday afternoon,” Hermeliński added, although said that these are his initial estimates in the matter.
The move to perform the wide-ranging audit comes as an IT glitch hampered the counting of ballots in last year’s local elections.
A delay in publishing the voting results caused protestors to storm the State Electoral Commission’s headquarters in Warsaw over alleged computer hacking and ballot fixing.
All six judges who made up the State Electoral Commission resigned after the mix-up. (jb)