[E-voting] Irish Times today - Friday 3/12/2004

John Lambe icte-jlambe at johnlambe.com
Fri Mar 12 12:02:01 GMT 2004

There isn't anything very important.

There was one letter on electronic voting.
It's not really relevant and somewhat nonsensical (for eaxmple, the
author seems to think that you cannot have multiple preferences with a
non-electronic voting system and doesn't seem to understand PR-STV).
The author is in favour of some sort of audit.

"Madam, - Amid all the noise about electronic voting, most people are
talking about the voters, and few are discussing the elected
representatives. Yet if the voters are to cast their preferences
electronically in elections, could not the TDs do the same in

An experiment on electronic voting was held in Belfast in 1991. 


...the 100 participants voted. A computer then displayed both the
voters' audit and the result: the option with the highest average

This, surely, is the great advantage of electronic voting: that it can
cope with multi-option preference voting and thus cater for a plural


There must, of course, be a paper (or electronic) audit, and everyone
must be aware of the counting procedures involved.

In decision-making, as in any rankings system, we identify the option
with the highest average preference. In elections, because of the
complications of PR-STV, the count should be done in stages, and all
transfers should be done on the basis of a full (rather than a random)

But first things first. Let's start by modernising the Dáil (and the
EU). - Yours, etc.,
PETER EMERSON, Director, The de Borda Institute, Ballysillan Road,
Belfast 14."

(Doesn't the Dail already have an electronic voting system).


There were comments on electronc voting in other articles:

Finance section: Article "Women need to get noisy on technology issues"

'... politicians, as we've seen with the rather stilted reasons the
Government has offered for pursuing electronic voting - often leave
such debates to "the experts".'


'The e-voting debate, such as it is, is not unconnected to what has
happened with broadband. I listened to the Minister responsible, Mr
Cullen, defend our rush towards e-voting with a comment to the effect
of: "But maybe for once we can be first in the world to do something
like this." 

Let's set aside the fact that this is hardly an adequate reason for
doing anything, especially something as controversial as switching an
entire voting process to a computer-based system.'


'But get involved, prompt discussion and debate, and look at what has
happened with e-voting - this rather dry topic has suddenly engaged the
nation, and because of citizen disquiet, the State has at least been
forced into a rethink, making some initial concessions.'

Article: "Fears voiced over 'race card' in elections"

Referring to Terry Leyden (FF) speaking about holding the referendum on
citizenship rights on the same day as the elections:
"He said further confusion would be caused in terms of electronic

John Lambe
Phone (mobile): +353 86 2895286
Phone:          +353 1 4905842  
Address:        64 Brighton Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6, Ireland    
Email:          jlambe at johnlambe.com

More information about the E-voting mailing list