[E-voting] more on siliconrepublic

Colm MacCarthaigh colm at stdlib.net
Thu Mar 18 13:08:19 GMT 2004

Minister "too busy" to meet with e-voting group

18.03.2004 - Irish Citizens for Trustworthy E-Voting, the lobby group
calling for a verifiable audit trail in electronic voting systems in
Ireland, has expressed disappointment that the Minister for the
Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Martin Cullen TD, has
refused to meet with them to address their concerns.
A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment confirmed that the
Minister "hadn't been in a position" to meet with the ICTE and that he
had been "too busy". He claimed that the situation had been overtaken by
events. "The Minister has appointed an independent commission and they
can make a submission to them."

Earlier this month the Government bowed to public concern over its
proposed introduction of electronic voting and appointed a five-person
panel to report on the secrecy and accuracy of the system. The
Electronic Voting and Counting Commission is currently accepting
submissions from all interested parties and is due to make an initial
report to the Ceann Comhairle on 1 May. The group has the power to
review tests already undertaken on the system and to ask for new ones if
it thinks this is necessary. It can also recommend whether the
controversial system be used or not during the local and European
elections in June, when it had been scheduled for full nationwide

However, ICTE representative Colm MacCárthaigh said that his group had
made several attempts to arrange a meeting with the Minister long before
the independent commission was established. "The idea of using the
commission as a reason for not meeting us is false," he told
siliconrepublic.com. He added that statements elsewhere in the press
that the group had already met with the Minister were "categorically

MacCárthaigh rejected the idea that making a submission to the e-voting
panel would be sufficient to cover all of the group's concerns and he
said that meeting the Minister face-to-face was necessary. "Ultimately,
the person responsible for electronic voting is the Minister for the
Environment, so it's certainly an office worth informing. From all the
statements we've seen to date, the Minister doesn't appear to be

Nonetheless, the ICTE plans to make a submission to the commission next
Monday and it is currently formulating a written response. It will also
check the possibility of making a presentation in person, if the
commission decides it can accept this kind of submission.

By Gordon Smith

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

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