[E-voting] Response to the tender

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Thu Jun 2 10:42:06 IST 2005

1) We should ask that NO e-voting system be implemented without prior 
public and expert consultation to consider alternative solutions 
(including the current pencil-and-paper method, or using a machine just 
to print the voter's ranked preferences onto a paper but with no machine 
counting) and consideration of cost-benefit analysis and implications 
for the accuracy, secrecy and integrity of the vote with various voting 

2) Prior to any electronic system being approved for use (if any) we 
should also ask for two additional pieces of legislation to first be put 
in place:

    A) Requirement of a manadatory manual count of xx% (my preference
    would be for 100%) of the VVAT at every election, and that if any
    discrepancies are found a full manual count is to carried out which
    will be the official count. 

    B) Designation of the paper record as the official legal record of
    the voter's intentions

Please note that without addressing ALL of these areas we have ZERO 
security for accurate vote counting.  There is no point demanding VVAT 
without the other items.  We should insist there there is public 
participation in something as important as preserving Irish democracy.


Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:

>I'm thinking something like this:
>		Irish Citizens for Trustworthy Evoting (ICTE)
>				 response to 
>		Invitation to Tender for the Appointment of 
>		Consultants to Undertake a Security and Risk 
>		Assessment of the Electronic Voting and 
>		Counting System and to Develop a Programme
>		of Additional Testing.
>Irish Citizens for Trustworthy Evoting (ICTE) is a group of ordinary
>citizens who serve to highlight that no electronic voting system can be
>trustworthy unless it includes a voter-verified audit trail.
>ICTE has a website available at
>	http://evoting.cs.may.ie/
>ICTE's main goals are:
>    * to ensure that any electronic voting system introduced in Ireland
>      meets the following criteria
>        o it includes a Voter Verified Audit Trail (VVAT),
>        o a booth is used, analogous to the traditional polling booth,
>        o all development uses formal methods,
>        o all source code is open to public scrutiny and audit.
>    * to prevent the use of the Nedap/Powervote system in Irish
>      Elections until it meets said criteria
>    * to prevent the purchase of any more equipment or software from
>      Nedap/Powervote by the Irish Government unless the system being
>      purchased meets said criteria.
>The above may be considered a disclosure of conflict of interest, as
>required under section 4.2 of the invitation to tender. ICTE does not
>however consider the above a conflict of interest.
>As section 2.2 of the invitation outlines, the first main area of
>assessment is "assessment of security measures and in-built protections
>of the voting equipment hardware". At present, the proposed Electronic
>Voting system lacks a Voter-Verified Audit Trail, the first and most
>basic in-built security protection.
>In the absense of a Voter-Verified Audit-Trail, it is provably the case
>that the mis-recording of votes (by error or malice) is undetectable.
>As such, ICTE consider it a waste of both time and money to examine the
>system in any further detail.
>In that context, ICTE propose that at zero-cost we will re-supply our
>reports and material to the department highlighting the fundamental
>requirement for a Voter-Verified Audit-Trail and hope that the
>Department will see fit to avoid needless public expenditure on further
>examination of a system which can so easily be demonstrated to be
>severely lacking in basic security. 

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