From: Aengus (ilug at domain linux.ie)
Date: Wed 29 May 2002 - 11:09:29 IST
Thomas Bridge <tbridge at domain vianetworks.ie> wrote:
> At 14:56 28/05/2002 +0100, Matthew French wrote:
>> With the recent recounts in Wicklow et al, I would not be surprised
>> if some ballots mysteriously "disappeared". And then one gets
>> individuals who voted, but didn't really. And if you want to go high
>> tech, how about disappearing ink.
> Not to mention the fact that apparently up to 300 votes from the Bray
> area were apparently invalidated due to the polling officer failing
> to correctly mark the paper. I'm not sure what happened in the end -
> but if they hadn't counted and Mildred Fox had lost by a handful of
> votes she'd probably have good reason to feel agreived.
> Thats one thing electronic voting will definitely fix.
It strikes me that a simple A4 poster pinned to the wall of the voting
cubicle describing the marks that a valid ballot should have, so that
the voter could check it themselves before placing the ballot in the
ballot box would be a far more cost effective solution to that problem.
And then there's the "no recount" argument. Do you honestly think that
if any of the 3 "test" constituencies had had a result with a 2 or 3
vote margin that the court challenges to the whole process would be
resolved yet? (Whether the source code was freely available or not?)
Worse still, as one letter writer to the Irish Times pointed out last
week, if the whole country had been using electronic voting for the
first time last week, and Fine Gael had lost 23 seats, there would be a
significant number of people who would have sincere doubts about the
validity of the process. At least with the existing system, nobody has
suggested that there was anything underhand involved, but with a process
as opaque as the electronic system used last week, you can be sure that
the conspiracy theories would have abounded.
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