Irish e-voting system under scrutiny

By EDRi · April 7, 2004

The proposed e-voting system in Ireland is under scrutiny due to concerns about fraud. An independent committee of 5 experts is commissioned to look into the alleged flaws of the system. The report is due out on 1 May.

The Irish government plans to introduce electronic voting machines from the Dutch company Nedap for the next European and regional elections in June. The system contains software by the Dutch firm Groenendaal and voting hardware made by Nedap. The same system has been used in the Netherlands for many years.

Civil liberty groups and the Labour Party have severely criticised the lack of an audit trail for the voter. After voting, the voter can not check if his or her vote is recorded correctly. The system does not provide a paper trail for possible recounts.

The debate about e-voting in Ireland gained intensity in March 2003, when a negative security assessment was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The assessment was carried out by the security company Zerflow at the request of the Department of the Environment and Local Government. The Irish government tried to keep the report secret, with adverse effects.

Several researchers have concluded that the Groenendaal software is not open source and even the Irish and Dutch governments do not have a copy of the source code.

Irish Citizens for Trustworthy Evoting

Electronic voting in Ireland: a threat to democracy? (November 2003)

Electronic Voting: A Safety Critical System (March 2003)