[E-voting] E-voting machines to be used in 2009 despite warnings

Colm MacCarthaigh colm at stdlib.net
Tue Oct 17 20:10:38 IST 2006

On Mon, Oct 16, 2006 at 09:09:29AM +0100, A.J.Delaney at brighton.ac.uk wrote:
> Dear all,
> E-voting machines to be used in 2009 despite warnings 
> http://www.examiner.ie/irishexaminer/pages/story.aspx-qqqg=ireland-qqqm=ireland-qqqa=ireland-qqqid=15869-qqqx=1.asp

O.k., this just defies belief;

I'm left wondering if our best tactic at this point might be plain and


Ahern makes case for e-voting
17/10/2006 - 19:10:21

Ireland will become the laughing stock of Europe if it doesnt introduce
e-voting soon, the Taoiseach said tonight.

Bertie Ahern told Opposition TDs in the Dail that a recent report on
electronic voting found that it would only cost 500,000 to upgrade its

He rejected criticism over the troubled 52m e-voting system which still
incurs annual 700,000 costs to store 7,000 machines around the country.

Our silly old system is outdated, Mr Ahern said.

We have to correct the software which will cost 500,000 and then try to
move forward. Otherwise we will go into the 21st Century being the
laughing stock with our stupid ol pencils.

Labour leader Pat Rabittee referred to weekend comments by Environment
Minister Dick Roche that he intended to store the machines in
centralised Defence Forces facilities and that he expected to use the
technology in elections after 2007

Mr Roche said on TV3 on Sunday that the machines will be used in
elections and referenda after 2007.

He added: Im not going to scrap them, weve actually paid good Irish
taxpayers money for them and I dont think theres any point of throwing
them on the scrap heap when you can store them and correct them.

Mr Roche also said that 60% of the machines will be stored centrally in
warehouses provided by the Defence Forces.

Mr Rabbitte added: I would have thought that there would be no
difficulty at all in guarding them because theyre absolutely useless but
that seems to be the use Mr Roche has in mind for the Army.

Mr Ahern said the second report by the Commission on Electronic Voting
found that the system can potentially deliver real efficiency in the
administration of elections.

A Cabinet sub-committee, chaired by Mr Roche will consider the reports
recommendations while a peer review group drawn from international
electoral reform bodies and the IT industry will be tasked to supervise
any software redesign work.

The Government announced the introduction of e-voting in February 2000
and up to 7,000 machines were purchased for use in the European and
local elections in June 2004.

However an interim report by the Commission on Electronic Voting in
March 2004 cast serious doubt on the reliability and security of the
systems software and the Government suspended the project pending
further tests.

The Government had estimated that electronic voting and counting would
make nationwide staff reductions of 1,200.

Last April, the Public Accounts Committee found wide variations in the
cost of storing the machines around the country. The storage bill for
Carlow-Kilkenny was 28,000 while it was only 298 in Co Louth.

Insurance cost 8,500 in Tipperary North/South and only 1,061 in

Colm MacCárthaigh                        Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net

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