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Ireland Rejects E-Voting for Upcoming Elections

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the no-vote-for-you dept.

Security 192

colmmacc writes "Following months of lobbying by groups such as Irish Citizens for Trustworthy Evoting and a damning and comprehensive report by Ireland's Commission on Electronic Voting, the Irish Minister for the Environment has bowed to pressure and conceded that the system has not been proven safe and has decided not to use Evoting for the forthcoming elections on June 11th.. This is a very welcome move following 6 months of indignation on the part of the Minister and refusals to meet with concerned groups."

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Open Source? (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018133)

> the Irish Minister for the Environment has bowed to pressure and conceded that the system has not been proven safe

Well, until an Open Source Evoting system is available, and the kinks are flushed out, many closed source systems will keep trying to get this contract or that contract. The simple fact is, they should all be designing Internet voting using the Online Banking Model, and keeping the source code open so that it can be truly stress-tested and understood.

Re:Open Source? (3, Funny)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018214)

the Irish Minister for the Environment has bowed to pressure and conceded that the system has not been proven safe

Unless the system ate somebody or gave someone herpes I'm not sure if it's accurate to say that it isn't safe. Perhaps he was looking for the word "reliable" ?

Re:Open Source? (1)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018483)

ocular herpes?

Re:Open Source? (1)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018544)

What kind of sex are you having?

Safe Evoting (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018654)

There's money to be made - if only I knew who will get the rubber glove contract.

Re:Open Source? (5, Informative)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018226)

It should be noted that the commission didn't find any particular flaw that prevented them from recommending the system, but rather they felt they didn't have time to properly vet it:

The Commission has identified and acknowledged the benefits of electronic voting and the fact that the selected system can accurately and consistently record voter preferences. It emphasises that its conclusion is not based on any finding that the present system will not work, but on the desirability of allowing time for further testing and quality assurance. The Commission makes detailed and valuable recommendations for the conduct of this further testing.

Re:Open Source? (2, Interesting)

lollipop17 (144134) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018398)

Yeah, I saw the story also on rte [www.rte.ie] where I get most of my irish news anyway (cos they don't have nasty registration and such) but decided to post the link as they have to link to related earlier stories on the subject that might prove useful.

This was my favorite part of the story: "The Fine Gael Spokesman on the Environment, Bernard Allen, claimed Minister Cullen had tampered with the very essence of democracy and had wasted taxpayers' money.
Mr Cullen rejected the claims but said today had not been a great day for him. "

Re:Open Source? (1, Insightful)

mcx101 (724235) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018321)

keeping the source code open so that it can be truly stress-tested and understood.

Even Micro$oft provides source code to government users for security review. Other proprietary developers can do the same; it's not an advantage to use open source in this case.

Re:Open Source? (4, Insightful)

modecx (130548) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018521)

No, Open Source's advantage in this case is so WE, and EVERYONE ESLE can understand who has pissed in the pool.

Not to sound paranoid, but I'm not entirely trusting of *my* government to make sure everything is kosher. Shit, I'm sure some (government) people would rather have it very un-kosher if they had the choice.

Re:Open Source? (3, Insightful)

mindbooger (650932) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018368)

Online banking is decidedly _not_ anonymous, by design. Entirely different solution.

Re:Open Source? (4, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018381)

So are we going to see some concerted work on an open source alternative.

After all gnu.free [gnu.org] 's website says:

On the 25th October 2002 The FREE e-democracy Project (who supported and organised GNU.FREE's development) formally stopped production and support of the GNU.FREE Internet voting system.

Governments indicate they'd like a secure e-voting system. If the open source movement can't deliver one, we can bet a private closed source company will.

Re:Open Source? (3, Insightful)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018629)

Not only must a voting system be secure, it must alwo be trustworthy. I don't see how any closed system would be subject to the verification required for the level of trust required. A closed system works only when the "secrets" are held by a completely trustworthy group of insiders.

Re:Open Source? (2, Insightful)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018642)

So are we going to see some concerted work on an open source alternative.

This doesn't sound like it's such an insurmountable open source project really. I mean, if you want to put your name on a project limited by only the sky, this seems like it. I mean, as far as the security design, that will take a security expert or two, but aside from that, isn't it a whole lot of busywork that amateur open-source programmers can probably handle? Is there a promising open-source eVoting project in development anywhere?

Info: See page 20 of report (Re:Open Source?) (1)

toesate (652111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018496)

The report wrote "It has not been possible for the Commission to obtain access to the full source code of the system..."

Yes, an open source solution automatically fulfil this requirement without fuss, and serve the needs to inspect, and gain electorate confident.

There is an open source voting system (2, Informative)

andalay (710978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018514)

here [softimp.com.au]

Re:Open Source? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018519)

this is a fp? god, what wankers. listen, fuckstick. take your relevant comments and shove them up michael's ass - he'll love you for it. in the future, could we please have sound fp practice and reply with troll or flamebait - i could live with ot - posts? thank you very much.

IQ(Irelander) > IQ(USian) (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018140)

Evidence, at last!

Re:IQ(Irelander) IQ(USian) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018255)

In mother Russia, IQ(USian) > IQ(Irelander) ?

WE'RE CALLED AMERICANS, TWAT. BACK TO YOUR WHISKEY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018385)

Re:IQ(Irelander) > IQ(USian) (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018550)

Guinness. Budweiser. That's not enough evidence for 'ya?

Re:IQ(Irelander) IQ(USian) (1)

adesm (684216) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018939)

Which point are you making? Seriously? Drink which tastes like someone didn't filter the mouldy turf out of the water pre-brewing. vs. Drink which tastes like someone just filtered the water thus completing the brewing process. I can't see either standpoint benefiting from that comparison.

Story is OT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018161)

Since when e-voting is one of my rights on line

Rejected in favor of O'Voting! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018168)

Of course it is not e-voting. It is O'Voting in Ireland. All you have to do is find the ballot box at the end of the rainbow. The leprechaun will ensure that all votes are counted.

Re:Rejected in favor of O'Voting! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018392)

Dear crack-smoking mods,

Parent is not OT. It is a joke.

Love,
A. Coward

E-voting (5, Insightful)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018186)

There is an absolute fortune waiting for the first company that can produce a reliable and secure e-voting system. So why do we see so many shoddy solutions that show their shortcomings the moment they go live?
The technology is there. It just needs someone to say "Right, let's stop pissing about and actually make something that people can have a bit of faith in."

Re:E-voting (4, Insightful)

banana fiend (611664) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018319)

I have to disagree with this

It's not just a case of "stop pissing about" - you have to develop a system that is
1)Unbelievably simple to use
2)COMPLETELY secure
3)Leaves a completely correct and permanent trail for recounting
4)Relatively cheap to roll out

Never mind that paper voting has never been all 3 above, a voting system has to be extremely good to be accepted by people who know the only true power we have over our government is our ability to vote for or against them.

Systems with that kind of quality are NEVER easy to implement. Ask anybody who develops OS's used in Nuclear Power Plants. Or people who have to go through QA for mobile phone system control software

Re:E-voting (2, Interesting)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018469)

>1)Unbelievably simple to use
A UI consisting of a simple form displayed on a touchscreen, with a confirm/deny when a choice is made. Not too hard.
2)COMPLETELY secure
Physical security. No connection to other devices/internet. Stored data encrypted with a _different key_ for each machine so that if one is stolen the whole system isn't compromised.
3)Leaves a completely correct and permanent trail for recounting
Okay, this is the potential toughie. One possible solution is for an internally stored secondary backup device - hell it might even be a paper printout. Either that or a receipt of voting given to each voter though there might be fun and games collecting those for a recount ;>
4)Relatively cheap to roll out
Have you seen governmental budget figures recently? Cheap is not an issue.
Actually the biggest hurdle is that of voter authentification - without a universal ID system then checking would be...problematic to say the least.
But that's a whole new can of worms I'm not going into here.

Re:E-voting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018499)

5) ???
6) PROFIT!

Re:E-voting (2, Interesting)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018560)

The more "security" features are incorporated, the less secure I feel. I used the butterfly system for decades, I felt secure. It's hard to move or remove a hole. The collating process is understandable. And, if necessary, the punch cards can be read with the human eye.

Any algorithm that requires a phd in encryption science to understand will be unverifiable by the typical voter. If the mechanics of the system are not transparent, we will be handing over the cornerstone of our political system to an unelectable group, not chosen for their honesty. I know that encrpytion geeks are probably the most trustworthy people in the world, but even they have a price and a political bias. I'd rather see a simple system made simpler. I'd rather see public money spent on studying the biases of the butterfly and other simple sytems rather than development of whizzy new sytems that can't be explained with concepts understood by most qualified voters.

It doesn't matter how fair it is if the system requires faith in unknown technology and the people behind it.. If the ballot is badly organized, reorganize it. Fix only the problem, why replace the whole system?

Re:E-voting (2, Interesting)

perelgut (124031) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018579)

The reason you don't see "Right, let's stop pissing about and actually make something..." is two-fold.

First, there's the highly public nature of this beast - it has to be perfect and yet all forces combine to try and force it out at the earliest opportunity. And missing the earliest date is treated as a sign of systemic failure. In this case from Ireland, nobody says there are problems, just that there isn't enough evidence to convince the reviewers to a suitable degree of confidence that there won't be problems.

Second, the liabilities in this sort of product probably exceed anything you might imagine. I doubt that the profitability comes anywhere near the liability.

You'd be better off trying to come up with an e-voting system that is secure, unspoofable and that allows people to select their "Idol" or to vote someone "off the island".

Re:E-voting (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018695)

The technology may be there. But has anyone bothered to specify a complete, consistent set of requirements? Reliable, secure, and permanent records aren't requirements, they're just a wishlist. Provide details.

Great for Ireland... (0, Troll)

slashrogue (775436) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018189)

Too bad for the US. I can't be the only one that feels that, come November, we will have a president that once again did not get a majority vote.

Re:Great for Ireland... (1, Funny)

Asterisk (16357) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018230)

We've never had a president who didn't recieve a majority of the vote...

Re:Great for Ireland... (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018278)

Disclaimer: Getting offtopic, I know.

Depends on what 'vote' you're talking about, popular or electoral.

While it's true no American president was ever elected with a minority of the electoral vote, there have been several, including George W. Bush, who have won the election without winning the popular vote.

Dammit, IHBT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018318)

But I will still try to HAND.

Wrong. (2, Informative)

abb3w (696381) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018750)

While it's true no American president was ever elected with a minority of the electoral vote,

[BZZT!]
"I'm sorry, thank you for playing, next contestant please..."

John Quincy Adams, 1824 [archives.gov] . Andrew Jackson had both a higher popular vote and electoral college vote, but neither had a majority. Under constitutional provisions, the top three candidates were voted on by the house; the fourth threw his support behind Adams, giving him enough for a victory. (Additional reference source) [multied.com]

The 1876 Hayes/Tilden election also might qualify, as an electoral commission of dubious provenance decided the fates of votes from 4 disputed states, with Hayes finally winning by a single electoral vote.

And, of course, the Florida electoral votes would have been enough to swing the 2000 election, if you want to bring those shenanigans back up.... [nytimes.com]

That is the way the Constitution works (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018244)

"Too bad for the US. I can't be the only one that feels that, come November, we will have a president that once again did not get a majority vote."

This has nothing at all to do with e-voting or anything like this. The reason this can happen is the Constitution, and the electoral college system. The majority vote in the US in the Presidential election has never mattered. If you want to change this, work to get rid of the Electoral College system.

Re:That is the way the Constitution works (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018452)

Even without an electoral college system it's possible: in Britain during the 1979-1997 Conservative administration there was at least one election (1992?) in which the Conservatives won with a minority of the votes, but a majority of constituencies.

I'm in favour of some (don't know which) form of proportional representation for this very reason.

Re:That is the way the Constitution works (1)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018675)

...come November, we [again may] have a president that...did not get a majority vote.

[...because] of the Electoral College system.

The electoral college is the well-meant Constitutional equivalent of "No state left behind". Unfortunately, it amplifies the consequences of larger-scale election fraud that (we're told) eVoting threatens to enable.

Mrs Doyle... (4, Funny)

bendelo (737558) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018194)

You'll have some e-voting... are you sure you don't want any? Aw go on, you'll have some.
Go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on GO ON!

Re:Mrs Doyle... (1)

aaronmcdaid (771190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018320)

> You'll have some e-voting ... Go on go on go on go on go on

E-voting? That would be an ecumenical matter, your grace.

Oh Boy (-1, Troll)

Dream492 (230119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018198)

Leave it to the Catholics to destroy existence.

Good news (0, Flamebait)

FAT_VIRGIN (775824) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018201)

Hopefully we'll see this happen here in the United States, too. Given the intelligence (or lack thereof) of the current administration, however, it does not look likely.

Re:Good news (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018239)

How about the lack of intelligence in florida?

They should use Ninnle! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018203)

If the ultra-secure Ninnle Linux were used on the systems, they could do it!

Re:They should use Ninnle! (1)

andalay (710978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018561)

You gotta stop posting this.

Re:They should use Ninnle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018644)

Obviously you have never used Ninnle Linux!

Re:They should use Ninnle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018688)

You are obviously unfamiliar with the concept of the /. running joke.

1) In Soviet Russia, Ninnle posts YOU!
2) Imagine a Beowulf cluster of Ninnles!
3) Natalie Portman covered in Ninnles
4) FreeNinnle is NOT dead!
5) ???
6) PROFIT!

So why should I stop posting this?

interesting (5, Insightful)

spangineer (764167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018221)

Pennsylvania's primary was just a few days ago, so I was thinking about this issue. I'm a college student at Penn State (30,000+ undergrads) and on day of the primary, I heard that about 100 people voted. Meanwhile, when we had elections earlier this year for student government, a much greater percentage of the student body voted (though not a majority). The difference? To vote in the student election, we simply had to log on to the internet to vote. For the "real" election, we had to go a central building on campus.

I don't mean to say that convenience was the only consideration, because many students (myself included) used absentee ballots, but realistically, I think it's clear that many more students would vote if they were able to vote online. Online voting would probably greatly increase voter turnout throughout the U.S., simply because people wouldn't have to be late for work or skip lunch or whatever to head down to the polling place.

Obviously, security is a major issue, but it's not like voter fraud is impossible under our current system. Realistically, if done properly, I think online voting would probably do more good for our elections than anything.

Re:interesting (1)

YankeeInExile (577704) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018328)

Is it not possible that many students were still registered at their principal domicile, and went home to vote (or voted absentee if the travel was onerous)?

While I re-registered with my student address - so I could participate in elections that actually matter (Local) - many MANY students in the dorms voted at their permanent addresses.

Re:interesting (4, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018411)

Yes, but in the US voting is supposed to be anonymous. Meaning you could have the most controlling evil demended spouce in the world, and go vote for X and tell them that you voted for Y. With internet voting they can sit down with you and force you to vote for X. Of course this would be true of labor orginizations, many clubs, any any group that someone might belong to that would influence presure weither it be physical or mential pressure to vote the way they wanted.

Re:interesting (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018740)

But not valid, this same flaw exists with the absentee system.

Re:interesting (4, Insightful)

The Wicked Priest (632846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018434)

There's an easier way to make it so that people have time to vote, without the insecurity of online voting: Make election day a national holiday. It should be.

Not that I'd count on increased turnout, even then. For that, we need more inspiring candidates in the races.

voter turnout (2, Insightful)

John_Sauter (595980) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018454)

Online voting would probably greatly increase voter turnout throughout the U.S., simply because people wouldn't have to be late for work or skip lunch or whatever to head down to the polling place.
I am not so sure that greater voter turnout would improve our government. Perhaps it is better that only those who are willing to be late for work or skip lunch vote. Perhaps that class of people do a better job of selecting our representatives.
John Sauter (J_Sauter@Empire.Net)

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018846)

I'm a college student at Penn State (30,000+ undergrads) and on day of the primary, I heard that about 100 people voted.

And why is that bad? Considering that PSU will take anyone with a pulse, they would have voted for Specter anyway.

Look and Learn (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018225)


if its not safe for them (perhaps indeed the whole concept is flawed), what makes you think its safe for YOU ?

its a shame people have been convinced by institutions that somehow pressing a button on an electronic machine constitutes voting in a democracy, "yeah you did vote honestly, you can trust us"

A shame (2, Interesting)

mcx101 (724235) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018231)

We only just got the evoting system in Ireland and used it in the last election. It seems a shame to scrap it now. It's much faster and surely more accurate than counting by hand.

Maybe all the lobbyists are the same people who lost their jobs as ballot counters ;-)

Re:A shame (3, Interesting)

DrMindWarp (663427) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018369)

We only just got the evoting system in Ireland and used it in the last election. It seems a shame to scrap it now. It's much faster and surely more accurate than counting by hand

The system was only piloted in a few areas during the last election and even those pilots were flawed.

You should read the report before making any comments about the accuracy of the count. If the Commission don't think it is accurate, how can you suggest it is ?

Without VVAT there is no known accuracy.

Re:A shame (2, Informative)

mcx101 (724235) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018553)

The system was only piloted in a few areas during the last election and even those pilots were flawed.

It was piloted in my constituency.

You should read the report before making any comments about the accuracy of the count. If the Commission don't think it is accurate, how can you suggest it is ?

Are you just trolling? Why don't you RTFA. That's not what they said at all:

On the basis of its review of expert reports, submissions received and other relevant information to date, the Commission finds that it is not in a position to recommend with the requisite degree of confidence the use of the chosen system at elections in Ireland in June 2004. The Commission wishes to emphasise that its conclusion is not based on any finding that the system will not work, but on the finding that it has not been proven at this time to the satisfaction of the Commission that it will work.

They just haven't had enough time to do rigorous testing in time for the next elections, but they do think it's accurate from what they've seen so far.

Re:A shame (1)

bscanl (79871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018605)

The commission haven't had the time nor remit to do a full test of the system to declare it "safe" to use. This is why they call for a full review of the electoral system, and drop very heavy hints that using a VVAT would be important to the success of an e-voting system.

I think that a full review, including the end-to-end testing that they called for, would include a review of whether VVAT should be used, and that the system that is in place currently will not be passed by an independent commission.

Re:A shame (1)

DrMindWarp (663427) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018700)

but they do think it's accurate from what they've seen so far.

Really? So what do you make of this quote from the report;

"as the software version proposed for use at the forthcoming elections is not as yet finalised it is impossible for anyone to certify its accuracy"

Rather at odds with your claims for accuracy isn't it ?

Re:A shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018734)

YHBT YHL HAND

Re:A shame (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018843)

Are you just trolling? Why don't you RTFA. That's not what they said at all: On the basis of its review of expert reports, submissions received and other relevant information to date, the Commission finds that it is not in a position to recommend with the requisite degree of confidence the use of the chosen system at elections in Ireland in June 2004. The Commission wishes to emphasise that its conclusion is not based on any finding that the system will not work, but on the finding that it has not been proven at this time to the satisfaction of the Commission that it will work. They just haven't had enough time to do rigorous testing in time for the next elections, but they do think it's accurate from what they've seen so far.

perhaps you should read more carefully. They did NOT say that it was accurate, as far as they could see. They said that they don't know enough to know one way or the other. In other words, might be accurate, might not, but we're not sure either way.

Re:A shame (1)

bscanl (79871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018486)

Electionic voting was introduced on a trial basis in 2 constituencies in the last election. The system has been flagged for review because of serious concerns regarding the testing and implementation of the system. The review also calls for a full independent review of the full voting system in Ireland (the commission had a limited terms of reference), and this will probably include a full review of VVAT - E-voting without a VVAT is ultimately flawed.

As "colmmacc" said elsewhere - We didn't have to trust the government before, why should we now? A VVAT would negate such concerns, while retaining the speed of electronic counts.

Woohoo! Yes! (5, Interesting)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018237)

This is great, I wrote a couple of articles in the newspapers about it myself here... Thank god is all I can say. I have nothing against modernisation of voting systems, but there has to be some kind of accountability, and the government was going ahead without either a paper trail or a poll...

Hopefully we'll see a little more open source code too...

Paper trail (3, Informative)

aaronmcdaid (771190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018261)

AFAIK, the proposed electronic voting system in Ireland was going to have a paper trail. The voter would be given a printout which would be put in a ballot box and used for recounts.

As an Irish person myself, I should have found out for sure what the situation was! Can someone confirm or deny this?

All I know for sure is that they weren't considering Diebold. The system was called Nedap or something.

Either way though, I'm against any electronic voting.

Re:Paper trail (2, Informative)

DrMindWarp (663427) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018414)

AFAIK, the proposed electronic voting system in Ireland was going to have a paper trail. The voter would be given a printout which would be put in a ballot box and used for recounts.

Wrong! How can you be so badly misinformed ?

Check out the ICTE [cs.may.ie] for all you need to know.

Re:Paper trail (3, Informative)

aaronmcdaid (771190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018458)

You're right.
I was just about to correct my earlier post by posting a link to this document [labour.ie] from the Irish Labour party.
Sorry everyone! Mod grandparent down.

Re:Paper trail (1)

FlashBac (720033) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018431)

AFAIK there was not going to be a paper trail. I think this is essentially why this failed.
Honestly, with a paper trail I would not have too many problems with e voting.
BUT, I want to give the code to some hard ass independent formal methods/Z/VDM/all-that-scary-stuff boys and girls before I am happy using it.
There are plenty of good guys around in Irish Universities.

Re:Paper trail (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018455)

No there was to be no paper trail. See the Irish Citizens FOR Trustworthy E-voting (ICTE) site at the top of the article for details. Lack of voter verifiable audit trail was a key concern.

links - ICTE http://evoting.cs.may.ie/
my own evoting comments http://www.10thmonth.net/movabletype//archives/cat _evoting.html

Regards
Dermot
http://www.10thmonth.net/moveab letype/

Re:Paper trail (1)

bscanl (79871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018542)

The electronic voting system as proposed contained no such paper trail. This is precisely what the ICTE were campaigning for. There is nothing wrong with an electronic voting system without a VVAT (paper trail).

Re:Paper trail (1)

bscanl (79871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018633)

Correction - There is nothing wrong with an electronic voting system WITH VVAT. :)

Re:Paper trail (1)

https (215700) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018668)

You're mistaken, I'm afraid: if the system had had a VVAT, it would probably have more acceptable to the commission, but probably not entirely so since end-to-end testing was not performed.

Give me a break (5, Funny)

Jack Wagner (444727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018263)

We can send a friggin space shuttle to outer space and back but we can't make a secure e-voting machine???? How hard is that????

Well, at least we've got the "free porn on the Internet" technology all worked out.

Re:Give me a break (1)

corporate_ai (775461) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018636)

Actually, we can send a friggin' space shuttle to outer space. It's the getting it back part we seem to have an issue with. But that's a whole other issue.

Re:Give me a break (1)

aecolley (467094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018715)

Hmm, I think Jack has just hit on the magic formula to boost turnout. Now we just need a technology to clean the voting machines between "uses".

The real reson it failed.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018265)

Too many voters kept trying to get to the Guiness web site, to get their free bar towels.. /shout to FARK.

fuck you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018289)

well it's friday and i'm hungover yet again. got fried last night and came into work and was expected to actually function. what shit. then i decided to visit /. for the first time in about a year, and lo-and-behold! it has the same shit as before - only more of it. well, gents, all i have to say is fuck michael and his ass monkey mentality and when i'm good an drunk tonight, getting my dick sucked by a brain-dead blonde college girl with delusions of humanness, i will piss in her mouth and think of all you ass reamers and smile to myself in perfect happiness.

Troll? He was on topic! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018870)

He's hung over, and posting on a story about Ireland.

How more on topic can you be?

Alternate System (1, Funny)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018293)



The candidates have a soccer game.

The side with the most fans left standing wins.

Re:Alternate System (2, Funny)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018495)

Nah - Cage Match
With chainsaws.
Would sort out the men from the boys.

Re:Alternate System (1)

Lurkingrue (521019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018861)

Nah -- Hurling would be more appropriate. And bloody.

I can't be the only one wondering... (3, Insightful)

The Wicked Priest (632846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018316)

Why are elections under the jurisdiction of the Minsiter for the Environment?

Re:I can't be the only one wondering... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018425)

His full title is "Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government" - elections in Ireland have always fallen under the remit of Environment.

It's more of an interior ministry than an environment (in the sense of "green" issues) ministry.

Conflict of Interest (2, Informative)

DrMindWarp (663427) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018491)

Why are elections under the jurisdiction of the Minsiter for the Environment?

Because he is in charge of election campaigns for the governing party [fiannafail.ie] .

That's not strictly the correct answer but it is shockingly true [politics.ie] .

Re:I can't be the only one wondering... (1)

CiaranC (69596) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018505)

His full Departmental title is Minister for the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government. The upcoming elections are actually local government elections, but this Ministry has all elections & referendums as one of its responsibilities.

http://www.environ.ie/DOEI/DOEIPol.nsf/wvNavView /w wdElections?OpenDocument&Lang=en

Re:I can't be the only one wondering... (1)

ectoraige (123390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018647)

Why are elections under the jurisdiction of the Minsiter for the Environment?

The full title of his department is "The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government."

Surely not (1, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018378)

The wishes of the people does not come before the need to reduce the cost of running elections!

Victory!!! (4, Interesting)

Pablo El Vagabundo (775863) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018383)

I emailed the minister about this ages ago. I wanted a paper trail for this new e-voting system he was introducing. Some of the Irish ministers are great an will email you personnally.

Dear ould Martin, however, got a lackey to email me a ref number. That was the last I heard.

Serves him right!! This is a good thing for e-voting. Maybe they will address the concerns and implement a safe,secure system (that allows us to spoil our votes).

Pablo El Vagabyundo

Solution in search of a problem? (3, Interesting)

YankeeInExile (577704) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018418)

I still assert that for the most part e-voting is a solution in search of a problem.

While there were serious discrepancies in Florida in the US 2000 Presidential Election[1], the solution to that problem is to go to a fundamentally simpler system, not one wrought with complexity.

Everyone agrees that election systems have to be accurate, tamper-proof, easy to use for both voters and polling-place officials, accessible to all voters (including the blind), and auditable. Those requirements are tough to meet, but an additional requirement is the killer: anonymity. A recorded ballot cannot be traced back to an individual voter, nor can a voter be able to use a ballot to obtain payment for a vote. Says David Dill, a Stanford computer scientist: "Unlike almost any other application, voting systems must discard critical information."

1: Do not think for one minute they were partisan - I think it was just luck of the draw that Gore lost - and had the results been the opposite, we would have heard precisely the same level of whining from the Republican camp that we heard from the Democrats.

Re:Solution in search of a problem? (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018936)

I still agree. The problem with the Florida ballot is in how they organized the names. The butterfly ballot had been around for decades, I'm sure most of these people were not tripped up by that.

Punching holes in a card then mechanically collating them is old technolgy, understandable by anyone who cares. And if the need arises, the card can be read without equipment.

Making a total change in technology when not necessary leads to less confidence, not more.

E-voting (5, Informative)

farmerj (566229) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018460)

E-voting in Ireland has caused much controversy in the last 6 months or so. The main objection to the system proposed for use in the European and local elections are that there is no paper trail for validation. The Irish Labour Party [labour.ie] Published a report [labour.ie] at the end of 2003 about the proposed system to be used in Ireland and the flaws in that system. All of the Irish political parties are for e-voting in principal; the main advantage from their point of view is that the long wait through numerous rounds of counts would be eliminated during the counting process. The long manual counting procedure is due the proportional representation [fairvote.org] voting system used in Ireland.

Any idea... (1)

condensate (739026) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018502)

...about how many people are there (regardless of the country) that are used to electronic devices? I mean, come on, if there are lusers who cannot even put a simple hole in a piece of paper, how on earth are they supposed to e-vote??? We /.ers usually do forget that there are people that still bang the rocks together. I for one know lots of them. I think e-voting is still only feasible for a minority of people.

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9018529)

This is a very welcome move following 6 months of indignation on the part of the Minister and refusals to meet with concerned groups.

It always amuses me to see how much more eloquently people from the UK write. Here in America it would have simply been ...6 months of being an ass on the part of the Minister...

Re:Wow... (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018596)

Ireland is NOT part of or in any way affiliated with the UK.

How's that?

Re:Wow... (1)

bscanl (79871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018719)

It always amuses me to see how much more eloquently people from the UK write.

Ireland is not part of the UK, and the poster of the story is from Ireland. :P

Proof of presence and intention (3, Insightful)

toesate (652111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018545)

I think two of the important requirements in any voting process is the need for proof of presence and proof of intention.

In e-voting, proof of presence could be possible/feasible.

But proof of intention in e-voting is, I think a hard nut. In a physical voting/polling booth, each voter is on their own, to make up their mind and choice, with minimal outside influence, in a so call "holy ground", making a vote untaint from intention. In e-voting, the voting act can take place anywhere, and possibly subjected to a lot of outside influences, and tainting the voter intention.

I am assuming(might be wrong) e-voting means the ability to vote from anywhere with internet access. It is not clear from the report.

Re:Proof of presence and intention (1)

bscanl (79871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018902)

E-voting in the context does NOT meant internet voting. E-voting refers to Electronic Voting, i.e. the usual booths, voting centres etc., but with an electronic terminal and count.

Internet voting is about a million times nuttier than E-voting without a VVAT, and that in itself is pretty nuts.

E-voting (2, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 10 years ago | (#9018628)

Luckily the Irish were given a chance to vote on this issue, with 543,490,234 against and only 38 for electronic voting.
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