Ireland Latest To Scrap E-Voting Machines

from the good-for-them dept

Reader oxymoron alerts us to the news that Ireland has dumped e-voting machines, concerned both about the costs and the reliability and accuracy of the machines. It still amazes me that anyone is using these machines anywhere given the massive reliability and accuracy problems they've seen throughout the world. So it's great to see countries finally realizing that perhaps democracy is aided by actually having voting systems that people can trust, rather black boxes that make it that much easier for people to distrust.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    lounge music, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:05am

    Germany...

    Well...
    let's see what happens in Germany this year:-) We still use paper and a pen:-) - HIGH TECH!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 12:39am

    It doesn't make much difference in the United States. As we saw last year the voting booths had less of a line and more of a circle.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Unmesh, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 1:22am

    Strange, the entire elections in India are carried out using these machines with great accuracy and reliability

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 1:28am

    Re:

    Strange, the entire elections in India are carried out using these machines with great accuracy and reliability

    Strange that you would say that. How do you know?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    MadJo (profile), Apr 28th, 2009 @ 1:40am

    News update

    News update, the maker of the voting machines have asked the Irish government for its reasons.

    Sorry, only a Dutch link at this time:
    http://webwereld.nl/nieuws/57404/stemcomputerbouwer-nedap-vraagt-ierland-uitleg.html
    Transla tion services are blocked on my end, so I can't offer any of those links and say whether they're decent or not.

    Nedap claims that the news came out of the blue.

    Apparently the Irish government bought all machines in one go, and they have it already in storage there.
    Weird thing, the spokesperson of Nedap claims that the voting machines are just industrial machines which don't require stringent rules regarding secure storage.

    But I'd say if they aren't stored securely, anyone could then go in and hack into the machines, thus rendering the machines basically useless for a transparant democratic process.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 2:21am

    Re:

    "Strange, the entire elections in India are carried out using these machines with great accuracy and reliability"

    In the last elections the Indian machines malfunctioned at 1,800 voting booths (out of 1 million), and voters needed to cast their ballots again. Still, that's much better than US machines.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Irish Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 4:57am

    Any chance of us getting our money back for these giant paper weights?

    Lets face it, the country needs all the money it can get at the minute..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Carlos, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 5:11am

    In Brazil electronic voting machines have been working really well for years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    MadJo (profile), Apr 28th, 2009 @ 6:37am

    Re:

    I doubt it. Though the Irish government could try the 'buyers remorse' approach. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re:

    "Indian machines malfunctioned at 1,800 voting booths"

    Who the hell did they call for Tech Support?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anand, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The jobless Americans, probably?? I have jobs for you..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Beck, Apr 28th, 2009 @ 8:52am

    Is it really that hard?

    It still amazes me that anyone is using these machines anywhere given the massive reliability and accuracy problems they've seen throughout the world.

    What's REALLY amazing is that these machines would have massive reliability and accuracy problems.

    Computer systems have been written to handle all sorts of complex calculations with the utmost accuracy. Why can't a voting system be created that is as accurate as our financial systems?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    MadJo (profile), Apr 29th, 2009 @ 12:09am

    Re: Is it really that hard?

    Oh it can be very accurate, but is it transparant?

    For a good democratic process, the voters need to be able to check the results. Which is easily done with a paper trail (just count every single ballot)
    but a voting computer, you don't have access to the source code of each and every machine.

    Who is to say that there isn't a subroutine put in there, that says every 10 votes, 1 vote goes to X party, no matter what the vote said. So if you were the tenth person, and you voted for Party L, the voting machine would say "Party L" on the screen when you press "VOTE", but it would register "Party X".
    Now at the end of the day, the folks at the ballot station will then press a few buttons and out comes a result, but that result would be false.
    But party L can't demand a recount, because what are you going to recount?
    You press the same buttons on the same machine and the same result comes out.

    And now you have created a murky democratic process, not transparant at all.

    Fancy stuff, voting computers, but they make the whole process needlessly troublesome. And for what? So that you can have a result a few hours earlier?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2009 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Is it really that hard?

    But party L can't demand a recount, because what are you going to recount?
    You press the same buttons on the same machine and the same result comes out.


    That's the beauty of the system!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 4:19am

    I'm from Ireland.

    The real losers here are kids in school. For the 50+ million euro spent on this, a computer could have been put on the desk of every (Yes, EVERY) child in the country.

    Crazy!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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