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lanlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:07 PM
Original message
Irish reject e-voting, go back to paper
Source: Ars Technica

File this in the "exporting democracy" category, or not: a recent report from Europe serves as a reminder that serious problems with e-voting aren't just an American malady, although it's much easier to move back to paper ballots if your country is fairly small. Just ask the Irish, who have announced their decision to scrap their e-voting system and return to paper. Ireland has already put about $67 million into building out its e-voting infrastructure, but the country has apparently decided that it would be even more expensive to keep going with the system than it would be to just scrap it altogether.

In a statement, Ireland's Environment Minister John Gormely blamed the decision partly on the economic crisis, which has had an impact of nearly Icelandic proportions on the country's real estate market and banking system.

"It is clear from consideration of the Report of the Commission on Electronic Voting that significant additional costs would arise to advance electronic voting in Ireland. This decision has been taken to avoid such costs, especially at a time of more challenging economic conditions. The financial and other resources that would be involved in modifying the machines in advance of implementation could not be justified in present circumstances", Minister Gormley said.

Ireland's decision that it can't bear the continued costs of e-voting is merely the latest in an ongoing string of such decisions, in which states like Ohio and Florida have said that it's just too expensive to limp along with what is, in essence, a failed, poorly planned, large-scale IT infrastructure deployment.

Read more: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/04/irish-reject-e-voting-go-back-to-paper.ars
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. We should do the same in America.
Ditch e-voting!
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feslen Donating Member (138 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. re: wow why don't we ditch computer voting here?
europeans are just so much smarter!
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Hangingon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Because we are more than 4 million population?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. Don't think the size of the population matters -- in fact, what if we all demanded . . .
absentee ballots -- ??

And, in fact, that may be where we are headed because of distrust for the e-voting machines.

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Hangingon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. If we all demanded absentee ballots how many years
do you think the election would take. I am amazed that there is such trust of paper ballots after the problems we have seen with them.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I think the number of voters using absentee ballots has been steadily increasing . . .
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 10:26 PM by defendandprotect
someone must have figures on the increase across the states -- ?

That would, of course, happen gradually -- or at least predictably.

And it has already been going on a long time.

" . . . how many years do you think the election would take."

I don't understand what you're thinking here.
Absentee voting is like early voting anywhere else --
Except the votes would come in over a longer period of time -- not just on one day.
And, it would be more gradual.
However, there's no reason the counting would take any longer than any other paper ballots.

"I am amazed that there is such trust of paper ballots after the problems we have seen with them."

I'm not sure what you mean by that, either.
Yes, paper ballots can be stolen and have been. But you have to have access to them --
you have to be there.
Whereas with computers larger blocs of votes can be stolen -- or reversed -- or even made to
disappear -- and the person managing that can be far, far away.

This stuff travels over telephone wires.





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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Perhaps because the federal government doesn't control voting?
Instead, states have the authority, and delegate it (with some provisos) to local election boards.

States and local BOEs tend to be a bit more strapped for money, so shifting the voting means can be a budget buster. In addition, there *are* federal rules and laws that restrict what the states can do and how they can do it.

Moreover, we have a lot more measures on our elections. I think the election last fall where I voted had something like 55 or 60 things to cast a vote for--bond measures, judges, county/city/state/federal offices, etc., etc. That makes for a long, multipage ballot. In my precinct, it would have to be in Spanish, English, and Vietnamese. And if they run out of them, there'd be a real problem--it's one thing to be short 10 provisional ballots, it's quite another to be short 2 thousand of the most common ballot, or to misgauge the language mix. (And, if you over-allocate budgets, then you pulp a few tons of needless ballots-on-dead-tree.)

It's much simpler where the ballot has 4-5 things on it. Much simpler. Counting that kind of ballot is expensive. It's less expensive than new voting machines, but the costs recur for hand-counting and eventually total more than e-balloting.

Paper ballots never stopped election fraud, in any event. It just made it a bit seedier, and perhaps a bit more difficult.
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Your excuse is worn out "Hand Counting Ballots in NH: WIlton" (VIDEO)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQMGIjChINA

The feds should start the ball rolling immediately!

Federal Paper Ballot Emergency Act...

http://www.votersunite.org/takeaction/federalpaperballot.asp

:)
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Federal Paper Ballot Emergency Act ---
Is there still a valid petititon - that one seems to be for 2004/?



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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. We certainly need to create more uniform conditions . . . Jimmy Carter made some
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 10:04 PM by defendandprotect
comments I'll try to find about what we need because evidently we don't have a system
now that can even be properly monitored!

Moreover, we have a lot more measures on our elections. I think the election last fall where I voted had something like 55 or 60 things to cast a vote for--bond measures, judges, county/city/state/federal offices, etc., etc. That makes for a long, multipage ballot.


I've been voting via absentee ballot since 2000 and the ballots that I get in the mail
are complete -- contain everything that I would be asked to vote on if I actually went
to the polls.

Plus, I get to vote early and it's way more convenient.

In my precinct, it would have to be in Spanish, English, and Vietnamese. And if they run out of them, there'd be a real problem--it's one thing to be short 10 provisional ballots, it's quite another to be short 2 thousand of the most common ballot, or to misgauge the language mix. (And, if you over-allocate budgets, then you pulp a few tons of needless ballots-on-dead-tree.)


Which is another good argument for absentee ballots which could just as well be called "early voting."
It's mailed to your home and you can state preferences, such as the language the ballot should be
written in. Early voting by mail eliminates questions about "how much/how many/too few/too many?"

It's much simpler where the ballot has 4-5 things on it. Much simpler. Counting that kind of ballot is expensive. It's less expensive than new voting machines, but the costs recur for hand-counting and eventually total more than e-balloting.


Europeans are counting IRV votes and sometimes the results aren't known for weeks.
I don't think there's a necessity to have results fast, but there is a need for feeling confidence
in the end result. I also think that volunteers could be filtered in to do hand counting, provided
that the counting was as open as the Minnesota system seems to be -- I think it's televised from
start to finish -- 24/7, if I recall correctly?


Paper ballots never stopped election fraud, in any event. It just made it a bit seedier, and perhaps a bit more difficult.


That's true, except it is harder to steal something physically than it is to steal votes or make
votes disappear - or even reverse votes - via computer. All you need is a hidden program.
Stealing paper ballots is more complicated and you have to be on site.
Electronic voting has meant that larger blocs of votes can be stealing from a greater distance.
In fact, they go over the telephone lines.



HERE ARE THE JIMMY CARTER COMMENTS ON US ELECTIONS --
______________________________________________________

US elections could not be observed because we lack three necessary criteria:--

1. Voters must be able to understand the ballot procedures and the ballot themselves.

2. Voters must have equal rights to have their votes counted.

3. A central commission in the country to resolve election disputes.

NONE of the conditions prevail in the US --

Florida violated ALL of these







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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 04:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
24. Because they have parliamentary systems where they don't vote for individuals--just parties?
Still, even our more complex elections don't need DREs. I think that optical scanning plus mandatory random auditing should be required.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. It will make it even harder to attack the next vote where Ireland will again reject the new EU doc
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Patriot Abroad Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Hopefully the Irish will see the light this time around . . .
And just who is behind Libertas anyway? Note that it benefits the states to have a weak EU.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. I would swear I read more than six months ago that the Irish had rejected
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 04:44 PM by Joe Chi Minh
e-voting as untrustworthy, in a referendum. As did the Dutch more recently.

Perhaps not a referendum in Ireland, but read under "Ireland" at this link:

http://www.egov.vic.gov.au/index.php?env=-innews/detail:m1116-1-1-8-s-0#ireland
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. K&R! Ireland now a democracy again. Soon the US will be a democracy again!!
We have been a democratic country for most of our history; we deserve it and I believe we will be a democracy again.

When the vote is counted in total secrecy on machines that are trivially easy to hack or patch or fraudulently program, and when the results are not verified, it's not possible to have a democracy.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
8. Has this country forgotten that all voting is in precincts which are
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 04:59 PM by MasonJar
limited in size? The paper ballots could be counted by hand in a matter of a few hours with Republicans and Democrats monitoring in each precinct just as they monitor the voting. i'd rather not know for one or two days and get it right.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 04:56 AM
Response to Reply #8
25. This is pure crap. We have a very hard time getting enough precinct workers in large counties
If you think that pulling several thousand people off the streets as temporary workers and getting them trained in security processes is no different than getting 10 or so, you are delusional. Precinct tabulations still have to be collated, and this is no trivial matter if you live in a state legislative district with parts of 5 different cities, 3 county council districts and 3 separate congressional districts. And in a county with 17 state legislative districts, some of which overlap with other counties. And then there are the school, sewer, water and fire districts, some of which split precincts. And intiatives, referenda, judicial elections.

Hand counting is the gold standard ONLY if you are counting a single race per ballot. Its accuracy falls off rapidly as you add more races to be counted. That's why Andy Stephenson favored optical scanning at locations where there are groups of precincts, followed up by random mandatory auditing. He actually did volunteer work as an elections worker, unlike so many of the bullshit artists that we generally hear from in Election Reform.
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
9. aye , the land of my ancestors aren't fools
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 05:02 PM by proud patriot
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Patriot Abroad Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. I disagree . . .
They paid an ungodly sum of money for a system that subsequently never worked.

See also "millenium clock".
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
10. Computers are not a good answer to voting.
They are expensive and you still need the paper trail, so why not just stick with the paper trail? Using a touch-screen is not noticeably easier than marking up a paper ballot, and the paper ballot is cheaper and costs a lot less over the long run, and it's a lot harder to fake the results too. In the ideal situation the voter owns his/vote, and you can do a complete audit after the fact when the vote is disputed, based on hard-copy evidence.
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Patriot Abroad Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
11. This is old news
The Irish bought a complete e-voting system several years ago, and promptly mothballed it when it became apparent there was no way to validate the voting. The news this week was around the final decision to quit storing these machines (at ridiculous cost) and scrap the whole idea - but it was effectively dead in the water quite some time ago.

Cost was something like 55 million for a system that never did anything.
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
15. It's apparent that e-voting machines ARE working *As Intended*
I can pump gas, pay for it, AND get a PRINTED RECEIPT from a gas pump. I've never had an issue with one displaying the wrong purchase on that receipt either.

I can go pray to the money god, get cash, make deposits, transfer funds, and get a PRINTED RECEIPT from an ATM.

I can go to the Post Office, weigh a package, print appropriate postage for said package, buy stamps, postal insurance, add package tracking AND get a PRINTED RECEIPT from the postal kiosk.

I can rent a movie, reserve a movie, pay using a multitude of payment options, return the rental in another town if I want, AND get a PRINTED RECEIPT from the Red Box rental machine outside the Walgreens, right next to the Blue Rhino propane exchange.

When I vote, I can push the button for the Dem candidate and there is a good possibility it may be switched to the GOP challenger. I won't know for sure because there is no PRINTED RECEIPT.

Yep, I'm pretty sure the e-voting machines are operating As Intended.
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cpompilo Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
16. Electronic voting has killed democracy in this country.
What with 2 stolen presidential elections and probably congressional elections, and who knows how many other elections stolen electronically, it's way past time to follow in Ireland's footsteps and use hand counted paper ballots.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Yes . . . "who knows how many other elections stolen electronically" . . .
I hope people are waking up to that thinking --

The computers began coming in during the mid/late 1960's --
just about the time we passed The Voting Rights Act.

The large computers came first, used by MSM to report election results, but produced
some very disquieting crashes after which favorites were dropping and non-favorites
had jumped in popularity.
This suggests an early complicity between corporate-media and vote stealing I doubt we're
ready to start thinking about.

Basically, I'm questioning every election back to Nixon/Humphrey -- !!!


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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
19. Good move on their part.
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