[E-voting] "Black box" irregularities in the House of Representatives?

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Sun Jul 31 23:51:20 IST 2005


It doesn't matter to you whether or not legislators' votes are recorded 
accurately?  Why bother with democracy at all, then?  What an 
"inconvenience" it must seem to you.  (And why bother participating in 
this e-group?)

The principle of which way the vote went (and whether or not it's "the 
wrong way" in your opinion) on CAFTA is not the issue here--it's that a 
legislator's vote was apparently not counted correctly.  One 
legislator's vote represents many hundreds of thousands of citizens.  
Plus, it is his permanent voting record.  Not to mention the impact of 
this piece of legislation, for good or for ill.  How can we have a 
representative democracy and not care whether or not legislators' votes 
are recorded accurately?

Do we have any checks and balances in the Oireachtas in case the 
electronic system doesn't function correctly?  If a piece of legislation 
has passed, and then someone claims their vote was not recorded, or not 
recorded correctly, and it would change the outcome, what would happen?  
Do we have clear procedures in place to handle such a scenario?

Saying it's not "the end of the world" if a few votes are counted 
incorrectly seems like a way of dismissing looking at our systems, 
procedures and equipment to try to avoid unnecessary errors.  It 
belittles the whole issue, implying that those of us who are concerned 
about democracy in Ireland are wasting our time on something that is of 
no real consequence.  Is this how you feel?  If so, then what are you 
doing here?


Timothy Murphy wrote:

>On Sun 31 Jul 2005 17:13, Catherine Ansbro wrote:
>>A major US int'l trade agreement just passed by 1 vote (CAFTA).  And
>>guess what.  One guy claims his vote was not recorded correctly.  Even
>>though he objected at the time, the law has still passed.
>I realise this is not a very popular view on this list,
>but if an issue is that closely balanced,
>I don't think it matters too much if it goes the wrong way.
>Equally, I don't think it is the end of the world
>if a few votes are miscounted in an election
>(as I am sure they are).

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