[E-voting] Question re: setting up of CEV

Aengus Lawlor aengusl at eircom.net
Wed Nov 9 13:49:19 GMT 2005


On Wednesday, November 09, 2005 3:11 AM [EDT],
Margaret McGaley <Margaret.McGaley at redbrick.dcu.ie> wrote:

> Hi guys,
>
> I've been asked a question that you will hopefully be able to help me
> answer:
>
> What were the events that led up to the CEV being established?
>
> I remember we called for an independent commission to be set up, but I
> can't find any references to it in any of our press releases. Does
> anyone have links to the relevant Dáil debates? (I'm looking at you,
> Adrian).

There were widespread calls for an Independent Electoral Commission to
handle all aspects of Elections (such as sample ballots that didn't include
a #1 for Fianna Fail), including electronic voting, during December 2003 and
January and February 2004.

The Opposition introduced a joint motion in the Dail on February 17th which
included " -establish an independent Electoral Commission to oversee the
implementation of electronic voting in a fair and transparent manner which
has the trust of all political parties and the general public; "
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate.aspx?F=DAL20040217.xml&Node=H13#H13
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate.aspx?F=DAL20040218.xml&Node=H19#H19

Early in February, the Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly suggested that independent
testing of the electronic voting system was needed. As far as I can recall,
the C&AG also made similiar comments.

At the beginning of March, Minister Cullen, under pressure, tried to kill
two birds with one stone, by creating a commission to examine electronic
voting only (which would have a finite lifetime, unlike an Independent
Electoral Commission). But from the beginning, the independence of the
commission was called into question, not least because the Ombudsman and the
C&AG, who would normally be included in this type of commission, were
excluded. There was no consultation with the Opposition about the
composition or terms of reference of the Commission. The issues was raised
during Leaders Question time on bothe the 2nd and 3rd of March, 2004:

http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate.aspx?F=DAL20040302.xml&Node=H6#H6
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate.aspx?F=DAL20040303.xml&Node=H2#H2

Aengus





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