what happened? Showdown in the Municipality, two managers in the crosshairs

what happened? Showdown in the Municipality, two managers in the crosshairs
what happened? Showdown in the Municipality, two managers in the crosshairs

To ascertain responsibility for the block that affected the electoral count, Mayor Roberto Gualtieri had announced the start of “internal checks” (and “I will be very strict”). Investigations are underway which, according to what has been filtered, are currently focused on two fronts: the Digital Transformation department of the Capital and the General Directorate of the Capitol. In particular, the name that often appears from various Capitoline sources is that of two managers, obviously with the premise that while awaiting the results one cannot draw hasty conclusions.

But the Capitol’s desire to look at possible responsibilities of the companies that carry out digital services for the Capitol also filters through. In the meantime, however, the bug that blocked the counting of votes for the European elections in Rome has already become a national case. Yesterday, via social media, Defense Minister Guido Crosetto intervened, declaring that «we will not have the definitive results due to the disorganization of a municipality. Something shameful and impossible to explain to the world.” Words to which the Councilor for Personnel, Andrea Catarci, replied, stating that “the minister’s statements are false and out of place”.

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The letter

In a note, the same councilor declared that the Municipality «completed the insertion of the list votes yesterday at 3.45 pm and concluded the insertion of the preferences around 11 pm» on Monday and branded them as «false and the statements about the alleged failure to close the counting in the sections in Rome are instrumental.

The chaos was triggered by the prolonged lack of results of 78 sections. A problem due to the fact that a series of inconsistencies appeared in the sheets relating to these packages. In particular, the problem, according to Campidoglio, concerned the so-called “form 121”, the summary ballots with the list’s vote, used for the electronic transmission of the provisional outcome but “in no way relevant for the purposes of the proclamation of those elected” (so the Municipality in a note). The minutes, according to the Municipality, “are all regular and perfectly congruent, as also confirmed by the District Electoral Office at the Court of Rome”. And for this reason “there was no delay or anomaly in the transmission of the electoral data for the purposes of the official proclamation of those elected, which will take place within the expected timeframe”. But “the only delay – of 12 hours and caused by the bug – concerned the provisional and no legal indication of the results on the Ministry of the Interior website” (i.e. the sending to the Interior Ministry for publication on the Eligendo website).

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The computer system worked slowly for the entire duration of the vote, so much so that on the night between Sunday and Monday it was decided to stop everything around midnight. We then left at 7am on Monday. At that point, around 1pm yesterday, many municipal employees were called (or rather, ordered) to the Rome Fair – around 4 per office – to proceed with entering the electoral data into the system. Operations ended just before midnight. Yesterday, in the corridors of the Capitol, there were many who complained about having been summoned in a hurry, only to then remain waiting for a long time or be sent home.

The recalled

Those who were put to work had to take turns because the system could not handle an excessive number of connections all at once. Only during the night, as mentioned, were the electoral operations concluded with the transmission of the preference votes. While on the 78 sections that presented obvious inconsistencies the ball was passed to the central office of the Court, which took office yesterday. In the meantime, the capital has achieved a record, even if it is not very honourable: that of being the last municipality in Europe to close the elections.

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