Art of the tallyman extolled at columnist's book launch


ELECTRONIC VOTING is “open to corruption” and the discovery of election results should be a “solemn and slow moment”, broadcaster and historian John Bowman said last night.

Mr Bowman was speaking at the launch of The Tallyman’s Campaign Handbookby Irish Timescolumnist Noel Whelan.

He said people in democratic societies ought to take their time over election counts.

“We do accord to funerals, and to marriages, and to school prize-givings, and to all sorts of events, something you could do very quickly if you wanted to but which is all the better for being a solemn and slow moment,” he said.

“This big moment when we decide who governs next, that is a very important and undervalued part of our democratic culture.”

Politicians had become very fond of the idea of electronic voting, “until it went wrong”, he said. He believed the notion of pulling a lever and getting the results had a number of problems. “It’s rather open to corruption.”

Paddy Power of bookmakers Paddy Power described the book as the “ultimate form guide for punters against bookies”. It is published by Liberties Press in association with Paddy Power.

Mr Bowman said one of the most exciting things about an election was “of course” the count.

He said Mr Whelan had been a colleague on many election broadcast programmes for many years. Mr Bowman praised Mr Whelan for his ability to speak his mind quickly and forthrightly.