Divergence in Irish cabinet over e-voting?

Interesting row and ruction over the potential introduction of evoting machines in the Republic and the latest report from the Independent Commission on Electronic Voting. Broadly speaking the report gave the machines a pass and the software a fail, with significant concerns about the security of moving from polling to counting centres. New software will need to be found and trialled, at an extra cost of several millions of Euro. Liam Reid picks up tension within the ruling coalition, with the PDs apparently falling away from further investment in the faulty software.

ADDS: Louise Ferguson has a compendium of relevant links.

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  • Keith M

    Sell the bloody things on EBay and leave us our entertaining election night TV shows.

  • Valenciano

    I think that electronic voting in general is a very bad idea. The lack of a paper trail undermines confidence in democracy which should be a lot more transparent. With physical ballot papers at least parties can order a recount and the possibility for malpractice is lessened. When you have machines only understood by those with a masters in computing it would be theoretically easy to tamper with them.

    A lesser effect is that the old system with its multiple counts spread over the course of a day was exciting for the viewer, now we get an instant result which is much less satisfactory!

  • Stephen Copeland

    For once I am in full agreement with Keith M. The whole slow counting of votes and transfers, and the trickling out of results is part of what makes elections exciting. It is part of our democratic ritual, and like other rituals its value is often not immediately obvious, but yet it contributes to the specialness of the occasion.

    Bin the machines, and leave us our boxes.

  • Henry94

    I’m with the Luddites on this one. E-voting is the political equivalent of skipping the match and going straight to the penalty shoot out. Yes it gives a quicker result but for the health of democracy the process is also important.

    It is how people learn about the system and become emotionally involved with it.

    And that is aside altogether from the very serious issue of the reliability of the machines. We now know that the software they government intended using was not secure. Time to stop throwing good money after bad.