[E-voting] Returning officers reports from 2002

Colm MacCarthaigh colm at stdlib.net
Tue Apr 13 16:46:07 IST 2004

On Tue, Apr 13, 2004 at 04:09:16PM +0100, Cian wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 13, 2004 at 03:53:35PM +0100, Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:
> > Courtesy of Joe, here are some reports that the Department finally
> > pulled out of somewhere, some staggering amazing new revelations,
> > including;
> > 
> Er. This stuff is unbelievable. What ass sat on this (excuse the pun) all this
> time? It amounts to documented proof that the 'smooth' trials the Dept. and
> Minister keep referring to were a disaster. Unbelievable.

Indeed! On my second reading, I'm noticing a few more things. The
documents refer to the Counting machines being networked at various points, 

 "- The method used to transfer data from Slave PC's to Master PC is far
 better than previous versions of the software and offers several
 alternative ways of handling any network or computer faults making the
 entire system simpler to use and more reliable."

 "· Two small 100BaseT hubs should be used for networking the PCs, one
  live & one spare in the event of failure. Because of the high profile of
  these counts, the possibility of setting up two separate networks (i.e. 2 
  network cards in each PC running suitable fault tolerant software, provided 
  free with the network cards is connected to separate interlinked hubs) for 
  the provision of a fault tolerant network should be considered."

  "· Sufficient network cables to setup the required network & to have at
     least 2 cables spare."

>From the referendum we have these chilling paragraphs:

 "We found one module where the number stored in the module was different
 to that printed on it. We also found three modules that could not be
 programmed plus one module that was blocked because the power had been
 interrupted during programming. Roy Loudon was able to fix two of these
 modules but the other two are still unusable."

 "The loading of modules into the machines went very well except for
 three machines which showed up as being faulty and had to be set aside.
 One of these machines was checked by Nedap engineers on polling day and
 found to have had a loose wire."

 "The seal on one machine was broken but the module seal was intact and
 no votes had been recorded. We advised the Presiding Officer to use the

We also have startingly mad suggestions from a returning officer such

 "k. The location and size of the count centre added to our problems as
 also did the layout. In future the count area should be given much more
 room and the public kept from the count operation. Also the media will
 have to be controlled better.  RTE almost took over the count and
 hampered the work of the Returning Officers" 

Yes, that pesky public, can't have it overlooking a democratic process. 
Also The modules themselves appear to have been delivered by Taxi:

 "(b.4) taxi collection of ballot modules meant that first ones read in at
 11.20 ? next time allow individual presiding officers who are very local
 to count to deliver themselves ? this might speed up start and also
 enable a steady flow to build up prior to larger taxi deliveries?"

All in all these documents are pretty amazing, maybe we're going about
this lobbying business the wrong way; Anyone for an armed rebellion?

Colm MacCárthaigh                        Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net

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