Re: [E-voting] Legal/Constitutional Opinions on eVoting (was: Electronic Voting in the Dáil Yesterday)

Ciaran Quinn election at polarbears.com
Tue Dec 6 00:38:01 GMT 2005


Keith Martin wrote:

>I've just had the following question submitted:
>
>
>************************
>To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr
>Roche:
>
>Has a legal opinion been sought in relation to the conduct of elections or
>referendums where an electronic voting system is used; where such opinion might
>be viewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter?
>
>Ruairi Quinn TD (Labour Party)
>For written reply
>Submitted 1st December 2005
>************************
>
>The wording might seem a bit wierd, but there's a particular way to ask
>parliamentary questions in order to get answers!  
>I unfortunately missed this morning's deadline, but it'll get answered on
>Tuesday 13th December.
>  
>
Apart from the question of whether elections using the Nedap Powervote 
system are unconstitutional, there is the question of why the Dept. of 
the Environment released ballot files of all votes in 2002 but had 
decided not to do this for the 2004 elections. Did they get legal advice 
that caused them to change their minds about what to release?

The issue of releasing full ballot files was first raised by Joe Otten 
in the June 2003 issue of Voting Matters, an Electoral Reform Society 
publication about STV. (See http://www.mcdougall.org.uk/VM/MAIN.HTM ). 
Joe Otten had been involved in testing the system for the Dept. of the 
Environment which suggests that the Dept may have been aware of the 
problem but decided to ignore it.

>I'm also told that in one of Labour's submissions to the CEV, it was argued that
>eVoting was unconstitutional.  It wasn't in the main "Labour Party" one, but was
>in one of the ones submitted by Labour Party representatives or members - I just
>can't remember which!
>  
>
I wrote a letter to Martin Cullen in early 2003 suggesting, among other 
things, that the system was unconstitutional. I received an 
acknowledgement and a promise of a further reply, which never materialised.

Ciaran
..




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