Last of e-voting machines destroyed, recycled after €54m cost to taxpayer

Wed, Aug 29, 2012, 01:00

The last of Ireland’s e-voting machines were consigned to the recycling bin last Friday, as the final batch was collected from Gormanston in Co Meath.

The collections were made on Thursday and Friday, managing director of KMK Metals Recycling Kurt Kyck said. The other e-voting machines “have all been destroyed apart from the last collections”, he added.

Originally piloted in the 2002 general election, the e-voting machines were never rolled out nationally due to security concerns. The venture has cost the State in excess of €54 million.

Last June, Co Offaly-based KMK Metals Recycling Ltd beat six rival bidders to secure the contract to collect and recycle the devices. The winning bid of €70,267 was deemed the most advantageous for the Government.

The contract to deal with the machines, which were stored at 14 facilities across Ireland, was not very large by KMK’s standards but Mr Kyck said, “It is the highest profile we have ever had.”

“I knew that it would be of interest – we weren’t naive in that sense.” Mr Kyck added: “It is history for us now – we managed to complete the collections on time.”

The process of disassembling the machines, which includes the removal of sensitive chips, has been closely monitored.

“We have visits from the department who are inspecting the progress,” Mr Kyck explained.

Earlier this year, he donated €10,000 to children’s charity Barretstown after a planned charity auction of the first 100 machines was cancelled due to contractual obligations.

Mr Kyck said the contract “is going like clockwork” and final batches of e-voting machines will be recycled in the coming weeks. The Department of the Environment is to retain four of the machines.