[E-voting] Diminished public confidence in the Nedap / Powervote system - CEV said extremely difficult to overcome

Colm MacCarthaigh colm at stdlib.net
Fri Sep 1 09:10:59 IST 2006

On Thu, Aug 31, 2006 at 06:26:14PM +0100, Catherine Ansbro wrote:
> Joe, this seems highly significant. Among other things it raises a
> question as to whether there are any other comments that the CEV did not
> publish.

The report does look like it was significantly altered at late stages.
For example Appendix 5A includes the text "The meaning of a voter
verifiable audit trail (VVAT) was discussed in section 5.2 of part 5".
but part 5 makes no mention of the term VVAT, and only discusses it in
the most broad and general of terms.

The report of the commission has numerous flaws;

	1. The language of the report is considerably biased. Text such
	as "The Commissions work has indicated improvements that would
	be necessary in order to address these issues, many of which
	involve only relatively minor modifications or additions to the
	system." simply cannot be considered objectively neutral in
	my opinion.

	The language leaves open the significant reality that many of
	the mofications are not minor at all, and that in fact, the
	addition of a VVAT is neccessary. At every turn, in particular
	in the executive summary, the commission strain to make some
	seemingly positive remark about what it is utterly damning

	2. The commission have deliberately chosen to bury the VVAT
	issue. It is clear that much work has been done into its
	analysis, and the report even points out the sheer inadequacy
	of anything else. Given the *entire* debate about E-voting
	in Ireland has been about a VVAT, it's extremely odd that they
	didn't consider this a significant finding worth highlighting.

	3. Once again the risk assessment portion of the report,
	appendix 5B, contains no methodology. The assements of risk
	are seemingly about as valid as rolling a dice and picking
	them that way. And in the latest report, there isn't even
	a name put against the report. In the first, we were told
	who made the assessment.

Given the work of the commission is costing us an awful lot of money a
year, I've personally lost all faith in them and any respect I once held
for them. For whatever reasons, they have clearly chosen to try and
assist the Government. I don't know what their motives are, but I can
only question their patriotism.  

Either way, I see them now as part of the problem, not the solution.
But at least they don't have a hope of getting anywhere, they can just
continually waste money, which is at least slightly better than where
we were 3 years ago.

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

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