Joe McCarthy joe.mccarthy at arkaon.com
Thu Oct 26 08:44:14 IST 2006

The CEV made extensive reference to its limited terms of reference.  The 
following extracts show that they never examined the chosen system for 
fitness for purpose.

      Verbatim extracts from the CEV 2nd Report

      Limitations of the CEV's work.

 The Commission has not been specifically asked to test, prove or 
conclusively verify the chosen system, but rather, in the context of 
reporting on its secrecy and accuracy, it may review the tests already 
carried out and carry out its own further tests.

            Page 9

The Commission has had no involvement in the decision to adopt e-voting 
in Ireland or the steps by which this decision has been implemented to 
date. These events largely preceded the Commission's establishment in 
March, 2004 and the Commission has not been asked to consider them 
(although the requirements and specifications for the system have been 
considered as part of the Commission's remit).

Page 27

It is important to re-emphasise that the tests carried out by the 
Commission were not intended to prove or demonstrate the fitness for use 
of the chosen system (although some of the tests carried out would be 
appropriate for this purpose).

Page 109

There are undoubtedly many performance-related and other criteria on 
which the chosen electronic system and the existing paper system might 
be compared. However, the Commission is required by its terms of 
reference to have regard to only those criteria which relate to secrecy 
and accuracy.

            Page 148

As with the comparative assessment, the risk assessment was confined, in 
accordance with the Commission's terms of reference, to considering only 
those risks that related to the secrecy and accuracy of either system.

            Page 162

Furthermore, since this comparative assessment relates only to 
attributes concerning secrecy or accuracy, in accordance with the 
Commission's terms of reference, it does not include the wider range of 
attributes and risks which, if included with appropriate weighting, 
might yield a different result.

Page 168

The potential for the achievement of economies in terms of cost and 
flexibility is thus clearly present to some degree in the chosen system 
but is highly dependent on the timing of its first use after it is 
acquired and on the frequency of use during its actual lifespan 
thereafter. However, the necessary evidence to support the Department's 
projections in this regard has not been reviewed by the Commission as it 
lies somewhat outside its terms of reference in regard to the secrecy 
and accuracy of the chosen system.

Page 246

      Comment on public interest

 Although recognising that such approaches [namely open testing] would 
provide useful testing of the system and could also serve to meet the 
significant public interest in the system recorded in the many 
submissions received by the Commission in the context of its earlier 
reports, it was decided that such a process lay somewhat beyond the 
scope and timeframe of the Commission's immediate brief to consider the 
secrecy, accuracy and testing of the chosen system.

Page 112

      Comments on public trust and confidence

 Taking all of these factors into account it is clear that voter trust 
in the existing paper system has long been firmly established. Although 
public trust in electronic voting generally might well be enhanced by 
the use of an alternative system incorporating a voter verifiable audit 
trail, public trust in the chosen electronic system as currently 
proposed remains to be established.

Page 243

The Commission continues (Appendix 6B no 20): However the doubts raised 
about the system which lead to the establishment of an independent 
Commission, the conclusions of the Commission's interim and first 
reports and the subsequent non-use of the system in 2004 have diminished 
public confidence in the system to a level that will be extremely 
difficult to overcome.

Page 335


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