[E-voting] Letter in Today's Indo

Michael McMahon michaelmcmahon at vodafone.ie
Mon Mar 8 11:28:06 GMT 2004


>> Perhaps, in the interests of transparency and democratic 
>> accountability, they could answer a few questions. Why were they so 
>> silent when e-voting was test run in the last general election and 
>> the Nice referendum? Why were they not as vocal when the Government 
>> clearly signalled its plans to introduce e-voting some time back?
> A sore point. It looks like the IT professional was generally asleep 
> at the wheel last time. And the losing side (e.g. Nora Owens) were too 
> good sports, and accepted the result trustingly. They did not 
> challenge the result at the time, maybe a constitutional challenge 
> could have concluded that the results were unprovable and therefore 
> unreliable. Still, being lax in the past is no reason to be lax now.
I wouldn't acknowledge it's a sore point. Sooner or later, it will dawn 
on the Govt. that they should
have gone looking for wide-spread support for this system rather than 
expecting its critics to come to them.
Compare with the UK. E-voting is not even on the agenda there, but they 
have conducted a lot of research into the
subject (through the Independent Commision on Alternative Voting methods 
(i think?)). The commissions report
creates a baseline for the debate in the UK. We haven't even reached the 
level of that baseline in this country as the policiticians are so 
misinformed, yet country-wide evoting could be only months away.

I'm not party political myself, but I thought the treatment of Nora Owen 
was a disgrace at the last election
and it's testament to the scale of the con-job  (and the power of the 
luddite argument) that Fine Gael
did not object at the time. I tried to contact the Dept. after the last 
election and suggested various
things to improve the system. They did not engage in any discussion back 
then, nor since. So the argument is
completely bogus as far as I am concerned


>> How are they constituted and are people like me, who believe the 
>> proposed system is better, welcome to join?
> People like Derek need to join and make their points. How else does 
> debate get going?
>  Patrick O'Beirne,     Systems Modelling Ltd.
>  Gorey, Co. Wexford, Ireland. +353 55 22294
>  www.sysmod.com  I.S. management consulting
> .
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