[E-voting] Any statisticians subscribed? Looking for a tipping point.

Catherine Ansbro cansbro at eircom.net
Thu Sep 8 20:27:24 IST 2005

I don't know enough about the seals.  What are the seals like on the 
regular ballot boxes?  Are they different from the seals used on the 
e-voting machines, which could be peeled off and stuck back on again? 

Your point about the Good Friday referendum is powerful.  It's an 
excellent example of why not to use e-voting.  (And in fact if e-voting 
had been used it could easily have produced artificial results.  
Everyone would have been right to be distrustful of any results.)

It's crucial that ordinary citizens be able to fully inspect everything 
themselves--the seals, the counting of the actual ballots, etc. 


Ciaran Quinn wrote:

> Catherine Ansbro wrote:
> ..
>> In our current system the major point of vulnerability is during 
>> transport of the ballots.  It requires trust of the Gardai, which may 
>> or may not be warranted.  
> Isn't the ballot box sealed when polling closes and isn't it possible 
> to check that the seal on the ballot box hasn't been broken just 
> before the ballot box is opened at the count centre?
> During the Good Friday referendum in Northern Ireland in 1998 the DUP 
> made a serious attempt to monitor the referendum process independently 
> of the government. They claimed that they were afraid that the British 
> govt. would rig the result in favour of the Yes vote. As a result 
> there was no question over the result - I am sure that there would 
> have been endless allegations of fraud had something like 
> Nedap/Powervote been used. This referendum was a perfect example of 
> why independent monitoring of the voting system is needed and, despite 
> it happening in Ireland at the time e-voting was being planned here, 
> it was obviously ignored by the Dept. of the Environment.
> In NI parties can put their own seal on the ballot box - I'm not sure 
> if that is allowed here, but presumably observers can still ensure 
> that the box is sealed properly.
> Ciaran

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