Source code review of Irish voting machines
Six months after cancelling the use of electronic voting machines for the European elections Ireland has reached a deal with the Dutch manufacturer of the machines. The Irish government will hire a private firm, acceptable to both sides, to review the complete source code of the voting machines. Nedap, the Dutch company that manufactured the machine, will provide the code under a non-disclosure agreement. The source code will not be made public.
In March 2004 the Irish government set up the Independent Commission on Electronic Voting to review the secrecy and accuracy of the Nedap system. In its report the commission concludes “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 has not been able to satisfy itself as to the accuracy and secrecy of the system(…)”. The report forced the government to cancel the use of the machines.
The commission complained that it had never received the full source code of the Nedap machines. Nedap only agreed at that time to disclose the part of the code the was specifically written for the Irish electoral system.
It is unknown if the review and possible problems found in the code will be made public. The expert Joe McCarthy has warned that Irish government will still be under pressure to introduce a paper trail element to the system. Nedap has argued that the system does not need a paper trail and that it is trustworthy without one.
Nedap e-voting equipment to be audited in Ireland (31.10.2004)
EDRI-gram 2.9, ‘Ireland cancels e-voting’ (05.05.2004)