[E-voting] Letter in Today's Irish Times

Keith Martin keith at keith.gs
Fri Jul 14 10:24:27 IST 2006

A well written letter in today's Irish Times on eVoting.  I  
particularly like the reference to the fact that the "inefficiencies"  
in the current system are all there for a reason!

Madam, - The ultimate test of any voting system is whether it has the  
respect and trust of the electorate. Regardless of how many "experts"  
are consulted and how much money is thrown at what's left of the  
electronic voting project, its sorry track record means it will never  
be trusted by the public.

What the remaining proponents of electronic voting still fail to  
understand is that existing manual voting systems are the product of  
hundreds of years of trial and error and that many of the perceived  
inefficiencies have a practical purpose.

The huge number of people involved in an election count means that any  
successful conspiracy to pervert an election must involve dozens of  
individuals who are willing to break the law in full view of  
suspicious observers. The count is laboriously carried out by human  
beings who, unlike computers, understand what their job is and cannot  
be arbitrarily reprogrammed to misbehave.

Instead of trying to spend its way out of the problem the Government  
needs to take a deep breath and consider what kind of legacy it wishes  
to leave future generations of voters. A decision to scrap the system  
would no doubt attract derision in the short term but it would be the  
right thing to do.

Ireland should wait until another country with a similar electoral  
system develops a reliable electronic voting system and has had  
several non-suspicious changes of government before even considering  
electronic voting again. - Yours, etc,

DAVID ROLFE, Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6

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