E-voting far more secure, insists Cullen


ELECTRONIC VOTING is a far more secure system than the system we use at present, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen insisted yesterday.

Mr Cullen, who as predecessor to current Minister for the Environment John Gormley decided to press ahead with the electronic voting project, told journalists in Dublin that e-voting was tested twice here and “it was very successful”.

While “issues arose afterwards” he had read a recent report suggesting the only way forward for Ireland was to use e-voting. “It’s a far more secure system than the system we use at present and it remains for others for the future to see what happens with it,” he said.

Earlier this year, Mr Gormley decided to abandon electronic voting, claiming it would cost €28 million to make the machines suitable for use. This was on top of the almost €52 million purchase price plus a claimed €800,000 a year cost to store and secure the machines over the period.

A report from the Comptroller and Auditor General on Friday revealed the taxpayer is liable for leased storage of some e-voting machines up until 2029.

The recent report to which Mr Cullen was referring was coverage of a paper presented on the closing day of the British Festival of Science in Guildford last week, which noted that the paper-based voting system in which we put our trust is open to fraud and manipulation.