Irish government to test e-voting system

By EDRi · June 15, 2005

The Irish Times reports about a new development regarding the e-voting system in Ireland. The Irish government invested 60 million Euro in hard- and software from Nedap/Powervote for the European elections in June 2004, but decided at the last minute to cancel the usage, after the Independent Commission on Electronic Voting concluded in an interim report: “(it) has not been able to satisfy itself as to the accuracy and secrecy of the system.”

Civil liberty groups and the Labour Party have severely criticised the lack of an audit trail for the voter. 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 Times reports on further controversy “when it emerged that storage of the machines, which had been purchased by former minister for the environment Martin Cullen, would cost millions every year in charges.”

Before 21 June 2005 interested parties have to send in a bid on a new round of security and risk assessment. The government advertisement for the tender says: “the successful tenderer will be appointed in July, with the objective to complete the security and risk assessment by the end of the summer”.

The security and risk-assessment will encompass the following areas:
– security measures and protections built into the voting machine and ancillary
– security hardened stand-alone election PCs; ;
– software encryption and safeguards; ;
– installation and access controls; ;
– risk analysis of potential for insider/outsider attacks, and;
– the adequacy of existing internal/external audit procedures.

Irish Times: Government to test e-voting system (02.06.2005)

Report of the Independent Commission on Electronic Voting (15.12.2004)

EDRI-gram: Source code review of Irish voting machines (03.11.2004)