[E-voting] [Fwd: [Edri-voting] Re: Italy & e-Poll]

Margaret McGaley mmcgaley at cs.nuim.ie
Wed Feb 1 15:25:54 GMT 2006

Wow. Just .... wow.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[Edri-voting] Re: Italy & e-Poll
Date: 	Wed, 01 Feb 2006 16:00:33 +0100
From: 	vote at electronic-vote.org
Reply-To: 	edri-voting at mailman.edri.org
To: 	edri-voting at mailman.edri.org
References: 	<43DFE9D7.8060200 at recul-democratique.org>

(Yes, I joined the list which is very interesting to me) 

Despite of the fact that the italian paper electoral procedures never had 
any problem and their results have never been questioned, the Italian 
Government decided to add a nation-wide electronic procedure to collect 
electoral results coming from each polling station. Votes are still 
hand-written on ballot papers and "manually" counted by scrutineers. 

An added computer technician will input each scrutinized vote to a program 
running on a PC located in the voting room. The PC will be offline and at 
the closing of the voting, the resulting data will be copied to a USB memory 
key. The technicial will bring the USB memory to a main "building" PC from 
where data will be sent to the Ministry of Interiors.
Being an experiment (not the first) the official results will still be those 
coming from the old procedures. 

About the procedure being used no more as an experiment but as the only way 
to collect electoral data, I have the following points: 

1) parties should continue to compute their own general results, recording 
results of each polling stations. Infact there will be no more physical 
offical records of votes at any level (city, province, state) to verify 
with. Ballot papers will still be there but counting them all again will be 
almost impossible. For that reason it is extremely important that parties 
verify that results reported by the Ministry for each polling station are 
really those manually counted. Once verified such basic data a simple  
computer application could be used to verify the general result given by the 

2) The introduction of computers into polling rooms should not be used as a 
way to accustom people to computers in voting so that public opinion will 
later accept e-vote (and loose any chance of democratic monitoring of 
electoral results). 

3) Costs are very high. Italian Government plans to spend euro 34,000,000 to 
have in April 20% of votes processed also by the new procedure. We should 
not expect that for next term election we'll be able to use the same HW & SW 
(in five years time not even our selves for our hobby will use the same 
computer we use today at home!) So costs are a very big problem!
We all know that computing companies (hw & sw) push very strongly towards 
e-voting (can you guess why?), but as a citizen I care about the way my 
money are spent. 


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