The Scottish Government wants to continue using the ballot form scanners, while admitting public confidence will require better preparation, helped by flawless execution. Ministers also want to introduce the same complex counting system for Holyrood as it introduced for councils last year, which would require e-counting for Holyrood too.
The South Lanarkshire by-election that crashed and required a hand count earlier this month thanks to a lapsed software license, has drawn the concession that manual counting is better in by-elections, given the smaller number of votes cast.
The decision forms part of the response from Parliament Minister Bruce Crawford to the Gould report into last year's election shambles, in which nearly 150,000 Holyrood and 40,000 council ballot forms were counted as spoiled, computers jammed and results were delayed.
Improved design, testing and project management, gives the official response that: "The Scottish Government believes that electronic counting can successfully and reliably be used at future local government elections in Scotland. It will continue to encourage the use of electronic counting."
There was a concession that the SNP's device to put "Alex Salmond for First Minister" at the top of Holyrood's regional list will not be possible again.
The Scottish Government accepts registered party names must appear most prominently, and descriptions below that should be "preferably without using specific individuals' names".
The most decisive element of Mr Crawford's response was to split future Holyrood elections from council ones, with legislation planned for next year. The Scottish Government's preference is for the next council election to take place in 2012, a year after Holyrood, and again in 2017, then settling into a pattern of elections every four years, alternating every two years with the Scottish Parliament.
The proposal warns this could make the council elections into a mid-term test of future Holyrood administration's popularity. It opens up other possible ways of splitting the votes, including having a council ballot in the November following Holyrood's election.
The Scottish Government also wants to pick up Gould's idea of a chief returning officer for Scotland, but warns that would only be logical if that person handles all elections, and Whitehall ministers continue to set policy for both Holyrood and Westminster elections. SNP wants the Scotland Office to accept the recommendation that one administration should be responsible for all elections.
An electronic voting machine in a Jefferson County warehouse near Golden, Colorado. Claiming unsecured electronic voting machines are a threat to the integrity of the November elections, a group of 13 Colorado voters askr
a judge to bar their use on grounds that the state failed
to do the tests required by law.
Photo courtesy: AP/Ed Andrieski
From the web archive of US voting procedures
including how to hack the vote in 90 seconds