[E-voting] proposed press release -- ICTE PREDICT E-VOTING SYSTEM WILL NEVER BE USED

Margaret McGaley mmcgaley at cs.nuim.ie
Mon Jul 10 16:19:31 IST 2006

First, well done to Joe on today's article. It reads very well, covers 
pretty much everything, and it's very eye-catching.

Second, I'm planning to send the press release below tomorrow morning 
unless anyone has any objections/suggestions. Can anyone remember 
reading a quote from a returning officer saying he had used all the 
spare machines available during one of the pilots, and had been very 
grateful they were there because otherwise there would have been long 
queues? I know I read it, but I can't remember where. I don't think it's 
necessary to include it in the release, but if anyone picks up on it and 
wants to do an interview I'd like to have it at my fingertips.


Margaret McGaley wrote:

> Irish Citizens for Trustworthy Evoting today predicted that the chosen
> e-voting system will never be used in Irish elections. Margaret McGaley
> of ICTE offered two main reasons for the prediction: "First, the
> cost/benefit analysis that must precede any plans to introduce the
> system will show that further investment cannot be justified. Second,
> the CEV did not declare these machines ready for use, they declared them
> ready for testing - after extensive modifications have been made."
> ICTE have estimated that the Department of the Environment would have to
> buy 7,000 more machines, after the necessary  modifications have been
> finalised and tested, to prevent long queues at polling stations. "The
> department effectively bought one machine per ballot box in the old
> system. But these machines are both voting booths and ballot boxes. 
> People will need time to deliberate in front of the machines." said Ms 
> McGaley.
> Dermot Casey elaborated: "Even if you assume that voting patterns will
> be evenly distributed over the day, the best you can hope for is 3 and
> 1/2 minutes per voter*. In reality people vote in bursts; early in the
> morning, at lunchtime, and after work. Those are the times when people
> would be disenfranchised."
> Mr Casey concluded: "There are 14,000 voting booths in the paper 
> system, and the state currently owns 7,000 voting machines. Without 
> any of the necessary modifications listed by the commission, the cost 
> of using this system for Irish elections would start at €35,000,000. 
> Add to that the cost of modifying the machines we already have (the 
> last modification sought by the department cost €2,500 per machine), 
> the cost of replacing the election managment software, not to mention 
> the other modifications laid out by the CEV, and the base estimate for 
> future investment in this system is reaching €50,000,000. Do we really 
> want to double our losses for the sake of this system?"
> [ENDS]
> [Note for editors]
> * This calculation is based on the following assumptions:
> No. of machines - 7,500
> No. of voters     - 1.8 million (this is the figure from the 2002 
> general election, rounded down)
>        --> No. of voters per machine - 240 No. of minutes (14 hour 
> day)  - 840
>        --> average time per voter - 3.5 minutes
> Irish Citizens for Trustworthy E-voting is an independent group of 
> over one hundred concerned Citizens, IT & Security Practitioners, and 
> Legal Professionals calling for the introduction of a Voter Verified 
> Audit Trail with any E-voting system used in Ireland.
> ICTE Website:
>   http://evoting.cs.may.ie/
> Archive of ICTE Press Releases:
>   http://lists.stdlib.net/pipermail/e-voting_press/
> contact (available for interview): Margaret McGaley
> email: mmcgaley at cs.nuim.ie
> phone: 087 755 4023
> _______________________________________________
> E-voting mailing list
> E-voting at lists.stdlib.net
> http://lists.stdlib.net/mailman/listinfo/e-voting
> http://evoting.cs.may.ie/

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