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Avoid a Total Fiasco - Test, Test and Test Again - Raj Wadhwani - Blog

Avoid a Total Fiasco - Test, Test and Test Again

What a fiasco in New Brunswick election last night. They introduced a new electronic system that involved scanning ballots, uploading data manually to a website following a phoned-in result and also taking physical memory cards from all over the province to a central location and uploading results from them. The result was complete chaos.

The NB Elections Manager responsible had no idea where 35 of the 700 memory cards were at one point. Results different from those phoned in versus what the memory card suggested. On live TV a CTV elections host asked if there would be an apology and the NB Elections Manager just gave excuses about trying new technology. He never apologized for the chaos and seemed to imply things happen when you try something new. Bet in your business, like ours, when things don’t work someone is accountable and apologies come from top down and it’s fixed. Shame the NB Elections Manager and his team didn’t seem to be too concerned about the fiasco. It's an election and we often see conflicts with elections in non-democratic regions of the world - the folks at NB really messed this up.

Lesson is Test, Test and Test again - should be no excuse for mistakes because its new and there should be a backup plan. And finally, what’s with the assortment of processes? ... Why are you doing things electronically with scanners then having someone drive a car across the province to drop off a memory card? That’s just crazy! Use tech efficiently – we can bank securely online why can’t the results be transferred securely?! The results finally were announced 5 hours late and yes you guessed it, the confidence in results is not there now so there are calls for a recount!

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