Computer Screen Resolutions and Democracy

A report just published by Parliamentary Affairs looks into election monitoring during the May 2007 elections in England and Scotland and found problems – unsurprisingly.

However the one which was highlighted did not involve deep level hacking into electronic systems, or nefarious criminal intent – they simple provided a spreadsheet which was wider than the computer screen could display, and relied on the users to not notice the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the screen.

Votes initially missed due to an over-wide Excel spreadsheet changed the result in the Highlands and Islands and handed control of the Scottish Parliament from the Labour party to the Scottish National Party.

More here:

Memo to those who wish to subvert democracy – stop trying to hack into secure(ish) electronic election platforms and just work out how to change the screen resolution on computers (hint, it’s in the settings option).

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