Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Glitzy launch will not quell concerns regarding electronic voting

4 February, 2004

Speaking following his attendance at the launch by the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government Martin Cullen T.D. of electronic voting and counting in this State, Arthur Morgan stated that the launch would do nothing to abate the widespread concerns which exist regarding the system being introduced.

Deputy Morgan said: "There are now widespread concerns regarding the system of electronic voting introduced in this state. A glitzy launch and Minister Cullen's insistence that such concerns are unfounded will not quell concerns.

"A study of the system entitled published by Margaret McGaley and Paul Gibson of the Computer Science Department in Maynooth concluded that '... while an adequate electronic voting system is possible, NEDAP/Powervote is not it'. Zerflow which carried out security assessment on behalf of the department also pointed out some serious flaws in the system.

"Sinn Féin is supportive of the idea of electronic voting using a kiosk type system. However, we are calling for all source code and design to be publicly available for inspection by citizens and especially by Computer Science experts. We are also calling for the Mercuri method to be applied, i.e. a paper copy of the vote, verified by the voter, to be held for the purpose of independent recount and for parallel manual counting be used for a period so that voter confidence is enhanced.

"If electronic voting is to gain public confidence the serious concerns about the system being introduced in this state must be addressed as a matter of urgency. If these concerns are not addressed then any advertising campaign to promote electronic voting will do nothing to increase public confidence and we will face a further decline in voter participation at the forthcoming EU and local elections." ENDS

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