COMPUTERISED, online voting systems are advocated by Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp (Three exciting ideas to build a better Scotland – The National, October 13). His proposal is supported by Peter Gorrie (Letters, October 16), who indicates “online voting must be at least as secure as the existing system”.

Currently the public are able to rely on voting security at polling stations and at the count, where all sides/parties must be able to physically observe voting and the count. How many are capable of verifying the accuracy and security of an online vote and count?

Who will commission and procure the software? The existing establishment who may have most to lose? Who will they employ to design it? Who has the capability – large corporations?

We repeatedly hear of breaches in security in “secure” software. Can anyone in IT categorically ensure the security of voting software? Who would be given the opportunity and have the skills to check and ensure there was no breach? If there is a breach, who would be allowed to tell if the answer suits the people who commissioned the system?

Any doubts raised by the adopting of online voting, even if these doubts have little justification, would damage our democracy. How many would vote or accept the outcome if they think the system is rigged?

I’m not some reactionary against change. Democracy does not come cheap – ask the Catalans and the Kurds. Don’t risk it for some new shiny, sexy solution that “simplifies procedures” and makes it seem easy or cheaper. Save money by cutting postal votes to the minimum, avoiding council staff spending days checking them in insecure council offices for weeks before the count where, as electoral law insists, they cannot be counted separately but must be mixed first with votes from polling stations.

To make access to voting easier, have more local polling stations in locations easily accessible to public transport. Let the polling card be a free bus pass for the day.

The public must not allow this abdication of our responsibility for the security of their democratic vote by permitting online systems which they are incapable of checking.

Jim Stamper


WITH reference to Bruce Moglia, regarding the royal prerogative and the use thereof (Letters, October 17). It’s astonishing that a great number of my fellow Scots continue to state that judgments made in the English courts ignore the Scottish constitutional law. Why should they not?

We appear to have accepted that rulings made in the Supreme Court of the UK, which then overrides judgments made in our own Court of Sessions, subservient to English Law.

Isn’t this in itself contrary to the Act of Union 1707?

When will the people of this nation finally realise that all decisions regarding this country which are made south of the Border are made first and foremost in the interests of Westminster? Ultimately for those with a vested interest in the continuation of the “British State” in its current archaic form.

Westminster decides what the law is, and how it is to be interpreted. If a decision is made in a court not to Westminster’s liking, they will appeal it or ignore it as suits them best. If Scots Law says that the people are sovereign then Henry Tudor, 8th of that name and king of England, defender of the faith, says no we ain’t, through the Westminster Parliament. Who’s going to triumph in the end?

Sandy Allan


VONNY Leclerc was on top form as usual (The Weinstein case could help us end this culture of sexual abuse, The National, October 16) but there was one surprising throwaway comment she made: “Even the President [Trump] wasn’t afforded such scrutiny.”

I wondered why not. Was it because Republicans are not expected to have such high standards as Democrats? Was it because Weinstein hid his behaviour and therefore knew it was wrong, while Trump openly boasted about it and therefore didn’t? Are the media actually attacking hypocrisy instead of sexual abuse?

Whatever the reason, there’s an indefensible double standard here in the public discourse and most of the media.

Derek Ball