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

Keith Martin keith at
Wed Dec 7 23:15:52 GMT 2005

Only the first of those would be allowed.  The others are all either related
to persons who shouldn’t be named in the House or are opinion/argument.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ciaran Quinn [mailto:election at] 
Sent: 07 December 2005 22:51
To: Keith Martin; e-voting at
Subject: Re: [E-voting] Re: Legal/Constitutional Opinions on eVoting (was:
Electronic Voting in the Dáil Yesterday)

Keith Martin wrote:

>Unfortunately the Ceann Comhairle has disallowed the question.  He says 
>Ministers aren't responsible for legal advice sought or given and 
>therefore can't be asked questions about it (including whether they 
>sought or were given legal advice, apparently).
>I'm looking at some other ways of asking the same question.
Some possible questions:-

Can the Minister list the amounts paid to legal firms or consultancies 
or for legal services in the period 2002 to 2005? [ I'm not sure what 
periods to specify here]

Can the Minister list those employees of the Dept. of the Environment 
who worked on the Electronic Voting system in any capacity (excluding 
those directly employed by the Franchise section) ?

In view of recent attempts by a Government minister to involve civil 
servants in party affairs, does the Minister accept that the voting 
process must be subject to monitoring by opposition parties and groups?

Can the Minister explain why the Dept. of the Environment released full 
ballot files after the 2002 election but had decided not to release full 
ballot files had electronic voting been used in the elections in 2004 
and will the Minister make a statement on the ability of voters to 
incorporate a digital signature into their vote when electronic voting 
is used with PR-STV?

Does the Minister accept that the monitoring of the Nedap/Powervote 
system is similar to the monitoring of the CIA planes landing in 
Shannon, in that neither the ordinary Irish citizen nor the opposition 
parties can tell what is happening inside the machines or planes?

Does the Minister accept that the decision to restore an annual military 
parade in Dublin is negated by the involvement of a British defence 
company, Qinetiq, in the testing of the electronic voting system, and 
can the Minister provide an assurance that if the British defence 
company Qinetiq, discover a method of manipulating the system to the 
detriment of a specific party (for example, Sinn Féin), that such 
information will be given to the Dept. of the Environment and not to the 
British Intelligence services?


>Quoting Keith Martin <keith at>:
>>I've just had the following question submitted:
>>To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local 
>>Government, Mr
>>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.
>>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 -
>>can't remember which!
>E-voting mailing list
>E-voting at 

More information about the E-voting mailing list