[E-voting] Irish Examiner - Cullen accused of 'hiding' over e-voting

Dr J Pelan J.Pelan at gatsby.ucl.ac.uk
Sat Apr 17 18:59:04 IST 2004


Cullen accused of 'hiding' over e-voting 
By Michael O'Farrell and Seán McCárthaigh

ENVIRONMENT Minister Martin Cullen was last night accused of hiding behind
officials after he declined to respond to concern over the reliability of
electronic voting.  Challenging the minister to respond to Freedom of
Information (FOI) documents showing inconsistencies with voting machines
from the last general election, Fine Gael environment spokesman Bernard
Allen accused Mr Cullen of political cowardice.

"Minister Cullen is behaving like an ostrich with his head in the sand,
awaiting the storm to blow over. His performance to date has been full of
confusion, mis-management and arrogance."

"He is hiding behind his political officers both the returning officers
and the Commission in refusing to respond to numerous questions on the
electronic voting system," he said.

Mr Allen criticised the fact that returning officers were left to explain
differences between the number of votes tallied by voting machines and the
returning officers in e-voting trial constituencies in 2002.

A spokesman for Mr Cullen last night said the minister would not be
responding to the criticism.

However, Tánaiste Mary Harney yesterday denied that electronic voting
system was untrustworthy, but admitted she would miss the manual voting

"Certainly those that are pundits and like to do the tally are really
disappointed. Although I like to think I'm progressive and modern, I'm not
so certain I would've put this top of my priority. But the reality is that
the Government has made a decision collectively to proceed," Ms Harney

John P.

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