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back to article Ireland scraps evoting in favour of 'stupid old pencils'

Ireland is scrapping the ill-starred evoting scheme on which it has already lavished upwards of €51m without a single vote being cast, the government announced today. The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley said in a statement that "a process will now be put in place, including discussions …

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@Andrew Moore

Sir, I protest, I most strongly object to your implication that I am an American ;) Co. Wicklow bog trotter through and through. Maybe my post (or rant) wasn't clear, I was talking about the re-vote on the Nice treaty, there where 2 different issues being voted for with the same vote. Cant remember what the second issue was but it more or less gave no other option but to vote yes, and in doing so also vote yes to the Nice treaty.

Wont be surprised if the same thing happens with the Lisbon treaty which is coming up for a re-vote in October, which we where promised was never going to happen. Well Sarkozy can just bugger off back to France and take his advice with him, he knows damn well that if he tried the same kind of crap in France as we get bent over and shafted with in Ireland he would be strung up. Why the hell do we stand for it?

Anyway, good points from both yourself and Ponder Stebbins on the state of Irish politics.

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Silver badge

Universal Comprehensibility

Pencil and paper has one advantage that no electronic or mechanical system can claim: it's universally comprehensible.

90% of the population can't program a VCR, let alone a computer. The Source Code for the voting machines isn't a lot of use to them. They just have to take someone else's word for it. Furthermore, even if you did go to the trouble of downloading the code from the Election Bureau's website and checking it line by line, how do you know that that's what the machines are actually running?

The problem with electronic voting systems -- and it is a limitation of the universe rather than a limitation of current technology, so nothing can be invented that would mitigate it -- is that what is actually counted is only a copy of what the voter did, and thus it can be changed without the voter's knowledge. Any "layer of security" you can bolt on top of that won't make any difference, because ultimately it's just a diversion which solves the wrong problem (and occasionally creates new ones; for instance, receipts still don't prove anything and can be used for nefarious purposes).

Just because you know how *your* vote was recorded, that doesn't tell you J.S. You still don't know how *everyone else* voted. The Authorities can publish absolutely bogus results and as long as they can tell *you* correctly, at some later date, how you voted, then you have to be happy with that.

Manual counting involving representatives of all candidates exploits the pre-existing adversarial relationship between them: nobody trusts anybody else, so the only way not to get called out is to tell the truth.

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IT Angle

who calculates the costs?

If the system had been specified as vote printer or DRE with VVPAT right from the beginning the extra costs would be probably zero. Now the costs for the modification will be approx € 500,- per machine,and 7500 times 500 is less the 4 million € , easily offset against the benefits. So where is the € 21 coming from?

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