I’ve put the question to the Electoral Commission, who should – you’d have thought – be aware of this requirement, if it existed. (We wrote this morning that the No Campaign are claiming that £100m or more would be required to introduce machines to deal with the alternative vote).
The commission’s reply:
“We haven’t considered whether it would be necessary or value for money.”
I am told that there were pilots at a local level a few years ago, run by the Ministry of Justice. The Electoral Commission then recommended that there should be cost-benefit analysis carried out for the use of electronic counting machines. That never happened.
But it is of interest that the commission says it has not even considered whether they would be “necessary” in an AV world.