[E-voting] Who was the guy on The Last Word

Aengus Lawlor aengusl at eircom.net
Tue Feb 17 11:23:02 GMT 2004


Simon Nugent <mshome at eircom.net> wrote:
> However, having followed the argument closely, I believe that the
> risks of the system being corrupted by either error or fraud are
> on balance not so great that we should abandon its implementation
> at this point.

I think that rather misses the point, Simon. "Ah, sure, it'll do" isn't
really good enough.

The risk that you haven't addressed is the risk to public confidence in
the political system. Unexpected results can and do come up in
elections, even without fraud or technical difficulties, and without a
transparent means of validating the result, any questions simply can't
be adequately answered.

I keep coming back to the example of the last General Election, where
Fine Gael lost 20% of their vote, and 40% of their seats. Nobody
questions the outcome of that election, because we know that the votes
that were counted were the votes that were cast. If that election had
been an all electronic vote, a significant proportion of the population
would have had sincere doubts about the outcome. Even without deliberate
or accidental "corruption", of the process or of the data, public
confidence in our system of government would have been undermined. And
to what end? So that we can "impress the neighbours"?

Aengus





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